I'm a pretty decent and very keen cook, and in particular I'm reluctant to go out for Italian food as I often think, "bah, I could have made that myself." But I bought the Groupon for Pranzi a while back, and having used it on Saturday night, I'm really glad I did.
The space itself was weirdly cramped and the acoustics were awful. But the service was great and we really enjoyed the food & good wines by the glass, so those first two things didn't matter as much as they could have.
The bread they brought to the table was fresh and delicious - way better than the stale yet oily hunks at Tarry Lodge. (One had a cherry tomato hidden in the middle; delicious.) The whipped ricotta and eggplant caponata (forgive me if that's the wrong word...) were delicious.
My carpaccio appetizer was probably the least-good part of the meal. It was a little bland; the olive oil drizzled on top didn't have much flavor, and it could have used a little scatter of salt. Husband's arancini were a hit with him; I'm not crazy about fried stuff so I let him be the judge.
I had the pappardelle with Sunday sauce - a rich, meaty sauce with soft strings of short rib and a huge umami smack. The pappardelle was delicious and perfectly al dente, although they'd all clumped together and I ended up with a kind of kugel in the end...
Husband's fusilli ala nonna came with softball-size meatballs and plump, fennelly sausage. We both managed to eat about a quarter of our portions, and we enjoyed them just as much the day after, reheated!
We were so stuffed we didn't do dessert much justice; we enjoyed the gelato we shared, but wish we'd left room to try something a bit more substantial.
I'm not totally raving about the place and insisting that everyone goes RIGHT NOW, but I've seen very little about it on these boards, and for a really useful, central location, I'd say it's worth a try. Someone on another thread did say it seemed quite expensive, and the Groupon was definitely a good deal. But with some smart ordering (the pasta dishes can totally be shared, comfortably), I think you could get a good deal. Color me very pleasantly surprised.
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