After reading some on-line reviews and a thread on this blog, we decided to get take-out from Polpettina in Eastchester last night.
I knew they had pickled fiddlehead ferns as a special, so we had to try those. They also had crispy kale chips and two other specials that we ordered: A sausage and broccoli rabe ravioli special, and a chicken milanese salad with arugula. We also got one of their specialty sandwiches.
The ravioli were advertised as homemade and served with brown butter. The cost was $15 for 6 ravioli. They were definitely decent with a light texture and discernible flavors. However, the portion seemed awfully small for the price. Know when you indicate that something is O.K. with your thumb and pointer? Do that. See the circular space in the middle? That's the size of each ravioli. The cost breakdown was $2.50 per ravioli. I felt it was a little outrageous for a casual take-out place. If we ordered osso bucco ravioli or shrimp ravioli, the cost would have made sense.
The salad was okay. The arugula was fresh and the lemon-pepper dressing was zingy with lemon zest. Topping the salad were shavings of parmigiano reggiano, just the right amount to mix in. The cutlet carried two slices of roasted peppers and some seemingly fresh mozzarella. All of that was fine. The odd thing was the cutlet itself. It was pounded thinly and breaded well, but it tasted way too gamy to be chicken. The meat itself was slightly pink and tough, leading me to believe it was either a pork or veal cutlet. It was also as dry as cardboard. If that cutlet was made the day we ordered it (Saturday), it must have been made Saturday morning at 12:01 a.m. because you could practically taste the refrigeration and sense the coagulation of the proteins and fats in it.
The pickled fiddlehead ferns were the main reason we wanted to try the place. The portion we received was mostly liquid. There were probably 10 heads in the serving size. The white vinegar and dill brine really killed the spring-like, "green" taste the ferns usually have. The only thing that survived was the texture of the ferns: They still had some snap and crunch.
They threw in a small sample of homemade cucumber pickles (three discs, to be exact). This brine seemed to be a little more complex, maybe cider vinegar and some chili flakes in there. Not bad.
The kale chips were sold in an open mason jar and looked like asparagus sculptures. They are not made in-house. The jar comes with a label from Capay Organic. It seems that they took whole salted kale leaves and put them in a food dehydrator. They were pretty crispy, all right. Imagine raking your lawn in October and decide to snack on some of the drier leaves. That's the sensory experience.
Once the chip crumbles onto your tongue, you can really taste a nice kale flavor. However, the center stems get as woody as bamboo skewers and should not be eaten (unless toothpicks are a part of your daily diet). The idea is great and would make an amazing, guilt-free snack food if it didn't include an instrument of impalement through the center. Eat carefully.
Okay, here's the clincher: My son loves roast pork, so he ordered the roast pork sandwich with cilantro cream and house pickled veggies on ciabatta. He ate half of it in a feeding frenzy and then walked away. His comment was that it was "okay."
Late in the evening, my husband went downstairs and raided the fridge. He found the sandwich and asked our son if he was going to finish it. Our son said he wasn't planning to, so hubby started to chow down. About a minute later, he comes upstairs and says to me, "That was the most disgusting sandwich I ever had. The meat was so gristly and fatty, it looked like it hadn't been trimmed at all. I couldn't chew it. They had some kind of coleslaw on it and the flavor was just gross." I asked what he did with it, as my husband will never knowingly waste food. He said, "I tried to give it to the dog and he walked away. He wouldn't eat it. Have you ever heard of a dog that wouldn't eat pork?"
Let me add that our dog is a rescue who was living on the streets and eating trash when we found him. This dog will try to eat anything. I've even seen him try to eat a rock. He wouldn't touch this sandwich.
Such a letdown. We really, really wanted to like it. We tried to order well to avoid disappointment. Didn't work. I may give their pizza a chance sometime, but it will be a while before I can get my guys to go back there.
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