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Restaurants & Bars 9

East End (Alameda)

Ruth Lafler | Oct 9, 2014 01:29 PM

I'm starting a new thread because the old ones are out of date (some dating back to the pizza-only prior location).

I dropped in last night and was tempted away from the pizza by some offerings on the new fall menu. It was hard to make a decision, but I finally went with the first thing that had caught my eye: a half-portion of the vermicelli carbonara, which I combined with an order of the roasted cauliflower. They were both excellent. The carbonara was served with the egg yolk intact, to be mixed with the hot pasta at the table. I was concerned that the egg wouldn't cook enough and at first it looked a little wet and slimy, but I let it sit for a couple of minutes, tossed it again, and it thickened up. I'm used to a little more cheese in my carbonara, but this was plenty rich with little chunks of crisp fried guanciale.

The cauliflower (pan roasted; taggiasca olives, smoked paprika, fried garlic) spoke of fall with its smokiness, the richness of the olives and the golden sweetness of the fried garlic. The risotto #1 (butternut squash, caramelized onion, kale, sage, brown butter, pecorino) and the ribbon pasta with pork & lamb ragu and shaved parm were also tempting.

Finally, going with the fall theme, I succumbed to the pear carmel tart with ginger ice cream for dessert. I always feel like I want a little less restraint from the desserts here (sweeter, butterier, more intense flavors), but this was still quite delicious.

Total for three dishes was $33 with tax but before tip.

East End
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