Tried Emilia's on Arthur Avenue for the first time and very much enjoyed what we had: pork braciole and cheese ravioli. Both came in the same, light, fresh, sweet tomato sauce--some might say too sweet and it wasn't a complex masterpiece of tomato saucery, but I thought it provided a good simple background for both dishes.
The braciole was stuffed with currants, pine nuts, cheese, and parsley, with the sugary tang of the currants balanced by the savory richness of the cheese, and with the pine nuts providing a bit of earthy crunch. And you could taste the pork quite clearly too, despite all this and the sauce.
The ravioli were also great--again they had a winning balance of sweet and rich and savory.
The braciole made me think, "I'd love to make this"--so it was really good home cooking, not high level professional work beyond the ken of the ordinary mortal. But that's what one wants mostly from a place like this, I think. And it was certainly a lot more pleasing and just good than the semi-ambitious dishes that I typically get at a lot of Italian places in Manhattan.
I now await posts about terrible meals there, how it used to be better, and how Arthur Avenue is a general travesty. But I'm looking forward to my next chance to go back.