was treated to a birthday dinner at piccola last night, and was thrilled to hear that soft shell crabs ("however you want them") headed up the list of specials. i didn't need to hear any more, and promptly zoned out to concentrate on appetizers. we split a salmon tartare (excellent, with a mustard-basil vinaigrette) and a hot antipasto (good clams, mediocre grilled shrimp). and then those crabs.
two eye-poppingly large specimens that proved bigger can actually be better when it comes to shellfish. fried practically greaselessly, the meat sweet and tender as could be. i'm tempted to make a return visit while the getting is still good!
my girlfriend and i agreed to share--although i thought about backing out of the deal about three bites into the soft-shell--so i got a chance to sample her choice, the risotto of the day. also a top-notch choice, an alarmingly colored but delicious combintion of porcini mushrooms, tomatoes, barolo wine and (if I'm not mistaken) radicchio. at once elegant and comforting.
it doesn't get much better than this!