The restauant's anniversary not mine. My first time there and it wont be the last. A very nice evening with great food and company. They did a special 6 course menu for the evening. Heres the report.
Antipasti for the Table: Frico Croccanti, Prosciutto San Daniele, Giardiniera, Fried Peppers with Breadcrumbs. Frico was great, crispy and salty with a nice parmesan finish. Fried Peppers with bread crumbs were also good. I believe these were Fresnos, they were covered with bread crumbs and sautéed in olive oil. Nice chile flavor, no heat would have been even better with a hotter chile.
Leek Flan with Seared Shrimps: The flan was very light and fluffy, not like the dense flan I have had in the past, it was mousse-like, with a very subtle leek flavor. Served with three small shrimp that were firm without being rubbery. You could just tell that these things were seared in a very hot pan. Nice garlic flavor. A sauce of leek, basil and olive oil was served away from the flan and shrimp on the front of the plate. Excellent.
House-made Ricotta and Pear Ravioli with Aged Pecorino and Cracked Pepper Sauce: Best yet. I wanted to skip the rest of the meal and just have more of this. Perfectly cooked pasta filled with the ricotta and pear mixture. The smoothness of the pasta, the grainyness of the pears offset by butter, Pecorino, and black pepper, wow.
Wild Mushroom Risotto with Truffle Essence. The best yet, I wanted to skip the rest of the meal and just eat more of this. Creamy risotto, enriched with wild mushrooms, butter, I think a little brandy, and parmesan. Rich and Earthy, just great. As a side note, both the ravioli and risotto were served from the sauté pan. This made for a nice touch and both dishes were piping hot.
We had our choice of entrées, Whole Roast Pork Shank (for two) with Roasted Root Vegetables; Zuppa di Pesce; or Short Rib of Beef Braised in Barolo with Tri Color Spaetzle.
I had the Zuppa, rich broth of wine and tomato with lobster, calamari, shrimp, scallops, octopus, mussels, and clams. The scallops were the best ever, perfectly cooked sweet and tender. Lots of calamari and shrimp. This is my first time for octopus, its different. There was almost a fatty texture to the top of the tentacle, while the bottom was very much like calamari. A little was good, not sure Id want to make a meal of it though.
Two of the others split the pork shank. Unfortunately, I didnt get to try this. Both liked it and it was huge. It really could have served the whole table of four with everything else we had eaten.
One of us had the short rib. This thing looked like a Fred Flintstone brontosaurus short rib. Again, it could have served the table. Slow cooked and tender this thing was what all beef should be. Melt in your mouth tender with an intense beef flavor, easily the best of the entrées.
Deserts were my least favorite, although others at the table really liked them. They included almond biscotti, tiramisu (fluffy and loaded with espresso). The pumpkin ice cream and ginger snap sandwiches were great. I did not care for the cannoli, too heavy and there was something in the cheese that I didnt like. Everyone else at the table disagreed with me, however, and loved them. I was too full to attempt the house- made torrone, but this was liked by everyone as well.
Service was very good, friendly and attentive. We did not feel rushed at all, even though there was a good sized wait when we left. $260 for four before tip. We each had two drinks.