Had another great meal at Incanto last night (in authentic Italian style they're closed Tuesdays). When we walked in around 8:45 the place was so packed you'd have thought it was the weekend, I don't think I've ever seen it so crowded. Looked like a lot of tourists. The owner said it's been like that lately.
- gravlax with fennel salad and local capers
- broccoli di ciccio & escarole salad with lemon-anchovy vinaigrette & pecorino: a brilliant way to serve marinated fresh anchovies
- tuna conserva, fresh borlotti beans, cherry tomatoes & Nicoise olives: wonderful tuna, subtle use of a mix of basils
These went remarkably well with the new 2003 vintage of the Cantina del Taburno falanghina, really holds its own against the acidic dressings.
Also tasted a 2002 Santadi vermentino Cala Silente, nice with a surprising touch of oak (never encountered that in a vermentino before), and the 2003 Planeta La Segreta bianco, a delicious and unique blend of grecanico, chard, sauvignon, and viognier, lots of new oak but nevertheless balanced.
- maccheroni spianati (wide thin flat fresh pasta) with broccoli di ciccio & house-made pork fennel sausage: we almost ordered two plates of this, and I wish we had, good lord this was good
- fettuccine al nero (black pasta) with octopus ragu, cherry tomatoes & hot pepper: very good but a bit undersalted and not quite as intensely flavored as the previous two octopus dishes we've had here (this was the only hint that the chef wasn't there); very nice match for the 2002 Valle dell' Acate cerasuolo di Vittoria
- split a poussin with a guanciale-spiked bread stuffing and fresh beans: perfect with the 2001 Zuc di Volpe refosco dal peduncolo rosso, which was also great with the macceroni spinati; menu says "beans & Triestino" but I'm not sure what that was (an herb?)
- budino di anguria (watermelon jelly) with pistachios: fabulous
- rustic plum cake: yummy, very brown and caramelized, might have been a sort of upside-down cake
The owner brought over a couple of glasses of dessert wine, a nice muscat (? lost the glass label) that was overshadowed by the 2003 Ca Rossa brachetto Birbet.
By Incanto's standards, something of an off night--one dish wasn't perfect.