DeeGlaze | Jun 20, 200909:31 PM     24

Tonight, my husband Marc and I dined at Executive Chef Donato Scotti's new place at 1041 Middlefield Rd. in Redwood City. The restaurant opens to the public on Monday, June 22nd. Appetizer, pasta, main and dessert (enough food for 2 hungry people) ran about $50 without wine. Service was friendly and consistent.

There is an open kitchen, and the atmosphere strikes a good balance between "night out" and elegant farmhouse, with paper-topped tablecloths and exposed beams.

We were greeted with some sliced ciabatta and a flavorful dip.

To start, we tried the bruschetta di cinghiale, which featured hand-pulled, braised wild boar, onion, and a bite of Chianti vinegar over thin, toasted ciabatta slices. The meat definitely took center stage, and it was flavorful and abundant.

After some deliberation, we chose a second course of ravioli di fave, This was probably our favorite of the night - light, green-tasting and flavorful. The ravioli was filled with a mixture of fava beans and ricotta, topped with fresh fava beans and peeled cherry tomatoes, and topped with some arugala pesto which was also drizzled on the frisse that accompanied the dish.

For a main, we shared the branzino ai ferri, which has been a favorite of ours at La Strada in Palo Alto. The Seabass was served whole and grilled perfectly, accompanied by aromatic grilled fennel and slightly charred (in a good way) tomatoes.

We ordered two contorni with the fish - broccoli rabe, which was tossed in a sauce flavored with anchovies and Pecorino cheese. I was lucky to grab a bite of this because before Marc completely devoured it. The second was bianchi di spagna - white beans with guanciale and rosemary. This was good, though I would have liked them finished in the pizza oven with a bit more guanciale.

For dessert, we had a shortcake with grilled peaches and basil cream, drizzled with balsamic vinegar to counter-balance the sweetness. The shortcake was crunchy and a nice contrast to the smooth basil cream.

Since we were sitting overlooking the kitchen, we noticed a couple of dishes we'd like to try next time -- the carciofi fritti (lightly fried baby artichokes) and costoletta alla Milanese (veal chop) looked wonderful.

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