I had a great meal with a very happy group of people here the other night. We ordered a a bunch of appetizers to start, all of which were worth raves:
Pole bean salad with Parmigiano and Lemon- maybe the tastiest rendition of late summer green beans (dark and light), dressed with tangy, refreshing citrus that really came together nicely with the grated cheese. This dish popped in your mouth.
Calamari salad with pickled celery dressing- again, very refreshing, a little bit spicy, and a clean, subtle flavor. The calamari was tender and very thinly sliced, as were the paper-thin radish rounds.
Wood roasted sausage with mustard greens- some of the most delicious pork sausage I have ever tasted, and made in-house. One large, thick link was cooked to perfection, nicely browned on the outside, and served over a steaming heap of deliciously sweet mustard greens, which complimented the meat beautifully.
Bruschetta with scallion butter and house-cured pancetta- I had my doubts about this one (butter, scallion, AND pancetta?), but this was one deliciously indulgent hunk of bread! One large, crispy, thick slice of rustic Italian bread, slathered generously with chive-studded butter and then covered with strips of bacon-style pancetta that was well-cooked, but not crispy. Definitely a little fat bomb, but one piece is shareable for two people.
Now, the pizza. I had a buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil, and it was very very good. The cheese was milky with a beautiful mouthfeel, the tomato was sweet and the crust was perfect. By perfect, I mean that it was light with just the right balance of crispness and chewiness. They also sprinkled the top with a just a touch of grated cheese (maybe pecorino?), which gave it a nice zest. The pizza can be easily eaten with either a knife and fork or with your hands in a slice-style.
I also tasted the tomato, provolone piccante and onion pizza, which was also terrific. Very tasty and somewhat spicy, with the cheese/onion combination.
I might also add that they have a nice selection of beers, and the Sixpoint Hop they offered on tap was possibly the most perfect pizza beer I've ever tasted.
For dessert, we all shared a couple of the homemade cannoli, which turned out to be very well made, if not quite traditional. While the freshly-made shell was crispy and totally without fault, the cream had an overwhelming lemon flavor that we weren't expecting. This was not necessarily bad, just not usual. The tips of the cannoli were generously dipped in freshly-chopped pistachio nuts, which was a nice touch.
It was a great meal, all in all, and five very hungry people walked out satisfied and glad we made the trip.
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