Restaurants & Bars 4

Delfina report

nja | Mar 23, 2004 11:47 AM

Finally got a chance to try Delfina last night. I enjoyed it very much.

Atmosphere: Very crowded. Loud. Many tables close together. No reservations for a party of 2, we were told an hour wait but were seated between 30-45 minutes. Servers were informal but efficient and knowledgeable. Wine and water glasses refilled often.

Appetizers: the calamari crop was apparently sub par, so Hawaiian plantation shrimp were substituted and came with the same white bean salad. Sweet, perfectly cooked shrimp arrived with tails peeled but heads still intact: a perfect preparation as it was easy to eat the tail meat and yet still possible to suck the innards out of the head. Also ordered asparagus, baked in the wood burning oven. The spears were peeled and topped with parmegiano-reggiano cheese. Also very good.

Middle Course: gnocchi with wild nettles and pine nuts. The gnocchi were smooth little cylinders lacking any fork-made ridges, but had great texture. The nettles were delicious, though the pine nuts could probably have used a little more toasting. It's hard to pick a favorite dish, but this was probably it.

Second Course: buccatini with fava beans and guanciale. Topped with fresh shaved pecorino. Excellent: the flavors of the pork and favas permeated every bite. Also had the oven roasted duck breast over farro and glazed carrots. The duck looked overcooked when it arrived, but it might have just been the lighting because it had great tender texture. Crispy, seasoned skin with layer of underlying fat was excellent.

Dessert: Both were respectable, though upon reflection I wish I had taken the cheese sampler instead. Profiteroles with espresso ice cream were a little too tough, but the dark chocolate sauce was very good. Blood orange panna cotta was good but didn't have too much blood orange flavor save for the slices of orange on the plate. This started to melt after a few minutes at the table.

Drinks: Blood orange bellini was a little too syrupy for me. A glass of Valle Isacro Veltliner was a nice match with the appetizers. A bottle of 1997 Rocche dei Manzoni, Bricco Manzoni was a little tart and low on fruit at first, but the fruit opened up fairly nicely toward the end of the meal. It was a decent bottle but wasn't really a great match with anything at the table.

Price: Total bill was $70 before tip.

Overall: An excellent restaurant. Though some were better than others, no dish was a disappointment. I will return.


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