quick repost of a review i did on another thread, in order for those specifically looking for LV reviews to more easily find...
well, on the back of sugartoofs comments on Five Points, we called an audible and went to Locanda Verde. I loved it. Now, i'm a huge fan of AC, loved A Voce when he ran the show and have his iron chef battle against Mario and permanent Tivo, so maybe I'm biased... just a little.
We had the Fried Eggs and Eight Hour Tripe, the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and the Scampi and Grits. Although each item skews towards teh high end of brunch prices ($14 - 17), the volume and quality of ingredients makes it seem like a reasonable deal.
The tripe was perfectly cooked, not too tender, but just right amount of texture in each bite. And the tomato based sauce was so fragrant and hearty, i sopped all of it up with the bread. I've always greatly enjoyed how rustic his food is, and this dish did not disapoint. My 21 month old chowed down the bits of egg and sauce that i gave him! After spurning the eggs I made for him earlier that morning.
I'm not sure that hte pancakes are teh best in the city, but they actually jumped ahead of Clinton Street's blueberry pancakes in my eyes. The edges are fried to perfect brown crisp and the pancakes themselves are incredibly light and airy, while still being packed with flavor. At the end of hte day, they're just pancakes and i'm not sure i can ever fully appreciate "brunch" food, but I'd order them again if I craved something sweet.
The shrimp and grits was chock full of crisp and tender shrimp, tiny chunks of some homemade sausage and a decent size pile of grits. The combination of each thing in a single bite was really nice.
Unfortuantely, i'm not a great writer and my reviews certainly don't convey the taste and aroma of each of these items as well as some others on this board could do, but suffice it to say, i'll be back. Definitely have to try the Uovo Modenese. the sandwiches as well as the ricotta (i loved this at A Voce and just couldn't order it on top of everything else)... but the truffled honey / burnet orange toast sounded amazing.
also, we got there at 10:15 (they open a lot earlier than most brunch places) which is great when you have a kid, parking was so easy to find, the restaurant was bustling without being crowded and the service was efficient and friendly, if not overly warm. But, in case you can't tell, we had a great time.
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