Had dinner last night at the new Osteria. In short, excellent. Top notch food, no bells and whistles, at a really nice price point. The bread tray include three different kinds (a spinach rollover, a second rollover with cheese and whole boiled eggs, and foccaccia. A second basket had different breads, including one that I think was bacon.
App. was poached salmon and greens over a pesto sauce. A very good size portion at $6 or $7 (can't remember) that would have easily made a nice small meal. Entree was a simple risotto (butter and p.r.) The other dishes at the table ordered were a simple salad and linguini with pancetta and tomatoes at $8 or so. The desserts did not sound super appealing, but if they would put the cannollis that are offered at the grill, or maybe a cookie plate similar to the one that Palena used to do, that would be an excellent cap to a dinner at the Osteria.
Speaking of Palena, I am a huge fan of DC's new trend of including a more casually priced front menu in addition to their formal dining. (This has been available at many NYC restaurants for years (Grammercy Tavern, Craftbar and 'Witchcraft among others). It's been great to see the success Palena has had (and the ensuing expansion of the menu) and I hope Donna has equal success with this one.
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