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Review - Zafferano’s New Tuesday Night Sagra

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Review - Zafferano’s New Tuesday Night Sagra

Stephen | Oct 12, 2005 10:36 AM

As JRL mentioned in Monday’s post, Zafferano is trying something new on Tuesday nights, offering a set menu (one antipasti, one primi and one secondi); $20/person for two courses and $30 for all three. (Regular menu is not available.) As past posts indicate I am a strong advocate of Zafferano, so my wife and I were happy to try this new venture. We each got all three offerings and, as always, were not disappointed.

The appetizer was a (very) large stuffed artichoke. The stuffing was fresh bread (not crumbs and no crust), seasoned, with small cubes of prosciutto crudo, mozzarella, and the occasional bite of garlic, drizzled with oil. The first course was a huge serving of homemade cavatelli in a tomato sauce with broccoli. As Mario Batali is fond of saying, the Italians don’t go for al dente vegetables, preferring to “hammer” them, which was the case here and much to my liking since the broccoli added a delicate soft bite to the dish instead of a crunch. The second course was a calamari (only a small portion of the tentacles remaining) stuffed with a similar bread mixture as the artichokes, but with peas instead of prosciutto. Whether because of something the bread had been soaked in or just from taking on the taste of the surrounding calamari, it had a “seafood stuffing” taste to me that was extremely flavorful, dense and rich. Surrounding the calamari was roasted potatoes, and the plate was generously drizzled with oil.

The only criticism I could offer is that the cumulative olive oil quotient was very high. Not necessarily a three course meal for delicate stomachs.

On the one hand it might be nice if they offered two choices for each category, but on the other the concept of simply putting yourself in the chef’s hands (Peter) for the meal is really the point, and a refreshing and exciting option if you trust Peter as we have come to. And, like everything about Zafferano, a very Italian experience.

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