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Another Dinner at Incanto (Long)

Liz | Jun 14, 200512:19 AM

My husband and I enjoyed our second dinner at Incanto last night.

After consulting with our waiter, we decided to have him prepare us each a personalized wine flight (3 half glasses) to go with our courses. We were happy with all of his choices, but particularly taken by two wines: Verdicchio del Castelli di Jesi Superiore Tralivio, 2003, Sartarelli; and Lagrein Rosato Pischi, 2003, Cantina Bozano. These were both served with our appetizer.

We started with the frito misto of broccoli de cecci, garlic scapes, and asparagus with a lovely mayonnaise made with olive oil and lemon juice. The vegetables had a nice light, crispy coating (“Oh, tempura!” said the dh when the dish arrived.)

For primi he had the handkerchief pasta with pork ragu and I had the spaghetti alla chitarra with porcini and rooftop nepitella. The handkerchief pasta was very good, although we were kind of underwhelmed as I had recently made a ragu Bolognese that tasted much like their pork ragu (Marcella Hazan’s recipe). Bear in mind though, that it took me all day to make that sauce, and the pasta at Incanto was much better than the store-bought pasta I served my sauce with.

My spaghetti alla chitarra was delicious. Much to my surprise, the porcini were fresh (I think the French call them cepes). The pasta had a nice bite to it, and the mushrooms were tender, delicious, and plentiful. The dish was enriched with lots of good olive oil. We were offered parmagiano reggiano on our pastas but after tasting them decided that any gilding was completely unnecessary.

We then went on to enjoy the flatiron steak (for dh) and the skate (for me). These were both excellent. The steak, cooked to a toothsome on-the-rare-side of medium rare, was flavorful and juicy. It came on top of cucumber salad that I wasn’t offered a bite of, so I’m guessing it must have been good . My skate came topped with preserved lemons and capers, over broad beans, tiny onions, garlic slices, and a few pieces of greens that I think were arugula. The skate was excellent, but I think it was the vegetables and preserved lemons that really put this dish over the top. I love broad beans and they are hard to find in these parts. I have to say once again that I love what Incanto does with vegetables.

For dessert we shared a bay leaf panna cotta with strawberries and saba (balsamic vinegar syrup). This was a real eye opener. We’ve never been fond of the flans or crème brulees we’ve gotten at restaurants; they’re often too stiff and gelatinized. This one was like a little creamy, barely held-together puddle of heaven. We were hard pressed not to lick the plate.

Service was professional, responsive, well-informed, and extremely helpful.


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