ooohhhmiiiigawd. Biagio's Osteria in Stratford at the foot of the Bridge off the Merritt. It's in a little strip mall plaza. And, it's often touted at the area's best kept secret, according to the write-up at the door.
Top notch from the moment of being seated. Excellent wines and if you want a $1,400 bottle, that's there for you too. But, the house wines by the glass for something like $6.50 a pop were smooth and beautiful on their own and tasted like they should be $20/glass.
Warm, fresh foccacia out of the oven. I guess I've never really had foccacia in my life if it were really meant to taste like this!
Butter for the bread had a unique color because it was mixed with white truffle oil, garlic and a little tomato, I believe.
Basically each and every dish was something unexpected and beyond words. Eating in this place was like stumbling into one of those non-descript simple restaurants throughout Italy that whip up incredible concoctions with the barest amount of ingredients.
And, the presentation - wowwie! It reminded me of eating at Daniel in NYC. So creative and unusual. In a strip mall of all places, can you believe it?!
Desserts were home-made and very, very interesting. The creme brulee - something which is so overdone and boring to see on menus by now - was some unique melange I had never before considered - something like white chocolate hearts and this and that. Whatever it was definitely tempted me to order it but the home-made cannolis won. I'll try the brulee next visit (which may be tomorrow!).
Walking out of this place, you feel as if you are sitting on Cloud 9 in heaven, the angels are whispering in your ears and all your worldly concerns mean naught. You are happy beyond belief. Feeling this way is what dining out means to me - be it leaving a small shack or an elegant palace - good food no matter where is a beautiful experience to have.