Restaurants & Bars 5

La Morra, Brookline

Limster | Dec 19, 2003 12:22 AM

A serving of two tangerine-sized arancinni di riso are slightly greasy, the stewy beef within playing a supporting role for the creamy rice, the substantial shell giving off a hefty crunch reminscent of the caramelized crust in the claypot rice or stone pot bibimbap. A southern Italian street food that doesn't look excessively out of place on their Venetian cichetti menu.

Fluffy squash flan succeeds with an excellent and nuanced interplay of sweet squash, a hint of fall spice (guessing nutmeg), salty parmesan sauce and toasty nutty pumpkin seeds.

A stocky red wine risotto, rich and meaty, is garnished with two soft smoky lumps of unctuous roasted bone marrow. Thick creamy texture transitions beautifully into pearly hard centres in each chubby grain of rice. Perfect texture for risotti.

Light herb crusting and moist breading on milky supple veal, a only one slight flaw in a large chewy sinew among the many delectable bites. Fairly nice squash slices. Commendable parmesan-flavoured polenta, creamy, salty and cheese-nutty.

Forgot the name of the expresso flavoured dessert that I had, a dense custard or pudding juxtaposed with wet (espresso-saoked?) cake embedded with hazelnut halves. Drizzles of caramel, iirc.

A pleasant whiff of pineapple in a poised glass of Antinori chardonnay '01; on the palate, more pineapple and other tropicals in the refined acidity and soft body.

Cooking shows skill, precision and careful balance; simple effective dishes with correct textures; nothing elaborate, but plenty of depth.

Especially nice to have a T-accesible place for Venetian (cichetti, breaded veal), Piedmontese (red wine risotto) and Tuscan (ribolita, bistecca, but alas no cinghiale/wild boar) around here, a good change from the primarily Southern Italian scene.

Brand new place that just opened last week. Service isn't perfect yet, but nevertheless earnest, helpful and eager to please. Pacing from the kitchen seemed fine with an occasional wait.

Would love to hear more about other dishes to see if they're as good or if I was just lucky.

Linked their website below (address, contact, menu and prices etc there).


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