went back to OSTERIA LATINI, and the short version: the first time, the food was good, but the service was soooooooooooooooo ridiculously slooooooow and sort of D iS O rgAniZ ED, but this time, it was all good - food AND service. tried different things this time (if you're curious about the service and other stuff about the experience, i posted more on the link)
chef paolo brings tortelloni to every table himself and they were so cute petite, plump with veal and mortadella, and lounging in sage butter. we ordered a couple of starters. i didnt like that the paper thin slices of pear in the BELLA SALAD still had the core, but other than that, it was a good salad though not remarkable (when is a salad ever amazing?). however, the MELANZANE ALLA PARMIGGIANA was remarkable. eggplant is one of my a.t.f. (all time favorite) vegetables, but sometimes the thick skin is tough, so on large slices, i end up pulling out an entire piece because it doesnt cut apart. on this dish, however, i didnt have to work my fork at all to take up bites. i dont remeber if the skin had been removed; perhaps it was all just cooked down because even the eggplant, like the cheese, melted together. delicious.
there were two other things from the regular menu. the CHICKEN PICCATA was ordered last time, so i didnt need to taste. CRESPELLE SCAMPI were crepes covered with pesto and shrimp, which initially i wasnt going to try, because i'm not particularly fond of pesto. however, i dipped a corner of bread in the sauce and it was, for pesto, not bad, mostly because it was very very creamy.
we had tested our server, and without skipping a beat he was able to answer questions about the specials. the ROLLATA (sp?) of prosciutto, tomatoes, and cheese (burrata or mozzarella cant remember now). were beautifully presented on the plate, but they were somewhat bland. perhaps it was the mistake of tasting something rather mild after the very strong, rich and creamy pesto. i got excited when i heard billy mention "anchovies," something you dont get everyday. i love fishy fish, but these WHITE ANCHOVIES must have been marinated too long, as they were a little too acidic. half of them were still on the plate when everything was cleared away, and that was probably the only thing that let my tastebuds down the whole evening.
the highlight of the night was the sweet finale. chef paolo delivered a sampler platter, and with another server, camilo, did a little comedy routine, rattling off each of the desserts. ITALIAN CHEESECAKE, CHOCOLATE MOUSSE, PANNA COTTA, PROFITEROLES (with choc-o-lat-a sauce-a), MANGO SORBET, and TIRAMISU. im not sure what made the cheesecake italian, but it was neither as dense nor as sweet as others. i tasted the tower of mousse, the perfect little vanilla panna cotta, and profiteroles, which were good, though i normally wouldnt order those desserts myself. the tiramisu, not the standard interpretation, was drowning in a delicious sauce that if i would have licked off the plate. smack in the middle of all the chocolatey-creamy was mango sorbet, a refreshing taste break.
we also had, of course, what i call the "house smoothie," a frothy blend of champagne and lemon sorbet. i normally dont like very sweet alcoholic drinks (except a margarita), but for some reason, i love this one, so much so that i drank a little too much.
im so glad that i didnt hastily swear off osteria latini simply for slow service last time. this time, the food was good and the service was good, the company was great, and arent those all together what should make for an absolutely delicious dinner? absolutely. hooray for second chances!