Went Saturday night. They were packed, waitress seemed overwhelmed (apparently a waitress called out, and they have been very crowded recently due to some good reviews per our waitress wonder from where? ;))
We were seated close to the kitchen which was open (fine by me I love to watch people cook). Over 2/3 of the place had their own wine (they serve but also allow byob).
We ordered 2 soups (hubby golfed Saturday and wanted something warm) the lentil (5.50) and the soup of the day meatball and escarole (6.50). I guess due to the crowd/ and the short staffing the kitchen was backed up so we didnt get the soup for awhile. But instead of letting everyone get hungry/annoyed they sent everyone in the restaurant complementary plates of bruscetta, then complementary salads to apologize for the wait (and they apologized over and over again). I dont care how slow service is if they are keeping me happy with free food, lol! When our soups did come, they were fabulous and big (meal size portions), some of the best soup Ive ever had (I am biased these are 2 of my favorite soups).
For entrees I had the chicken cacciatore (15.50) Divine, my husband wouldnt leave it alone! It was two huge chicken breasts with grape tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and roasted yellow peppers. My husband had the most fabulous veal piccata I have ever tasted (16.50 I ate most of it, but thats because he ate most of my meal!). Dishes came with a vegetable (choice of 6-7 different ones), I had the grilled radicchio, my husband had the zucchini. Both veggies were really really good with a slight drizzle of olive oil.
Luckily all the desserts were bindi (lucky cause we had no room left, waitress tells us they usually have a few homemade ones as well). They did send out 2 complementary shots of limonchello, which was a really nice touch.
Total was 51 plus tip (incidentally $2 corkage per bottle, which considering they have a bar, is not a big deal in my book). I checked the wine list on the way out and they had some decently priced bottles.
A few observations: Every app and every meal was ample and looked great. There was a 4 top beside us who got 4 different apps and 4 entrees. The apps were huge, there was no way I could eat an entire app and an entree. The owner is also the chef and he was a real sweetheart. My husband and I watched him cook all night (he had 10 burners going plus a grill) and at first he looked concerned that we didnt like our meals and were trying to get his attention, but I think he got the idea that we were amazed watching him cook (there is a call ahead dinner for 2 of whole rabbit on the menu that was really neat to watch him prepare) so he kept holding up the different platters before they sent them out, and he came out and gave me a hug and a kiss when we left.
We had alot of fun, cant wait to go back. Corner of 16th and Ritner
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