i had a very nice meal at this new-ish site this past wednesday. we sat at the bar and ordered a bottle of montepulciano d'abruzzo ($38). the menu has a selection of hot and cold small plates, as well as full sized salads, pastas and entrees. the two of us decided to order 3 cold and 3 hot small plates to share. i can't remember all of the exact details, so bear with me. we started with the 3 cold: the piattini antipasto - proscuitto, salami, braseola (i think), an assortment of olives, fresh mozzarella and maybe pecorino. all drizzled with olive oil; beef carpaccio with baby arugula, capers, shaved parmasean, and aged balsamico; a salad of baby arugula, and fennel with white anchovies in a "ring mold" of shaved cucumber. all three were fantastic. the arugula was particularly fresh, everything well seasoned, nice execution, impressive portions for being small plates. the 3 hot plates: ricotta ravioli with a black truffle butter sauce and sweet peas; seared fennel seed crusted scallops with a simple chunky tomato and basil sauce and drizzles of basil pesto - this was a special for the evening; potato gnocchi (this one is a little fuzzy because we were pretty full by this time) - not what i was expecting, but it was very good. the gnocchi were shaped like tubes (think mozzarella sticks) and filled with porcini mushrooms and some kind of soft cheese, breaded then fried and served with 2 creamy sauces (one definitely tomato based, the other either parsely or basil). whatever it was, the dish was awesome and sent us over the top belly-wise. the ravioli were out of this world. nice strong truffle flavor that lingered long after we left (i like that). the scallops were fresh and i loved the simplicity of this dish. the tomato sauce was good, but would have really been fantastic if it were summer and super fresh tomatoes could have been used.
the 6 plates left us very full (we probably could have gone with 5). the prices range from $7 to $12 for the small plates, which i find a great value considering their quality and size. i think the regular size pastas peak at about $15 and the entrees at $21. the wine list, mostly italian (yay!), ranged from bottles in the $20 range upwards to the $100's. they also have a long list of wines by the glass. they serve dessert, but we had no room and were already late in meeting a friend. the bill came to $105 with tax, before tip.
even with the high ceilings and stone floors, the room is warm and cozy (much better than the old grillfish). it was snowing out, so there were about 4 or 5 other parties in the place, including people at the bar. the bartender was very knowledgable and friendly and made us feel at home.
overall, a great experience. this will probably become a regular neighborhood spot for us.
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