Before my friend came into town this weekend, I had dinner with a friend in town and we decided to go to Ciao Vito (on NE Alberta, in the old Chez What space) last Thursday.
We walked in there between 6/6:30 on a Thursday night and we were lucky to get 2 seats at the bar for dinner. No kidding. At first I wasn't too thrilled, but the chairs were comfortable with backs and we got pretty good service there. Odd thing though - they didn't have a coat rack (WTF? In PDX? helloooo...).
We shared a delicious squash soup w/mascarpone and a mushroom package appetizer to start. The soup was flavorful, velvety and fabulous, and I'm not a huge soup fan, really. The mushroom package was mushrooms (porcinis, chanterelles, others), herbs, and unidentified yummy things in a package of parchment paper. Great for mushroom lovers like us - simple and delicious. And yes, when it was placed in front of us we declared, "Nice package." ;o)
For my main course I chose the porkchop which came with carrots, but I asked for a sub...I got spinach or chard that was great, and I was thankful. My dining partner had a spaghetti and meatballs special. The meatballs and sauce were good, but the spaghetti was thicker than I like, diameter wise. My pork shop was huge and tasty, but it was very brined...so brined it was almost like a ham chop in a way, ya know? Still, I enjoyed it a lot.
We had a nice Montepulciano with the meal. We couldn't decide on a bottle and the bartender gladly poured us a taste of one of our choices. It was nice to do, and probably because they were also selling it by the glass, but still - she didn't have to do it and lots of folks won't.
I'd go back, but either I'll make a reservation, or I'll make sure to go at an off time...if there even is one...