I dined at Valanni last night w/ 7 friends and got to experience a large portion of the menu.
First, the chef is now Evan Turney--Marcie has moved on to open a new BYOB in the neighborhood-- I hear it'll be Italian, and open in April. I don't know the street location, but it's in a former Psychic shop.
For dinner, we ordered all of the 'tastes' and two entrees--one vegetarian paella, one regular. The 'tastes' were:
roasted winter squah, pepita and arugula salad (delicious)
medi-latin plate--roasted plantains, hummus and pita, sundried tomato-goat cheese crostini, roasted feta and greek olives, pepperoncini, crispy corn arepas w/ spicy chipolte chicken, grilled adobo beef kebabs, marinated mushrooms.
(This plate was largely a failure--the goat cheese thing was gross, the arepas were soggy, the beef tasted off)
cuban bread, avocado and black olive salad (one of the best things we had)
crispy shitake-thyme polenta w/ garlic basil shrimp(the shrimp were terrific)
vegetarian tapas for two-- grilled veg, white beans and pesto, manchego, bruschetta, avocado goat cheese crostini, olives, portobello, curried carrots
(MUCH beter than the other platter)
steamed PEI mussels white (YUM)
bosc pear, toasted almond and endive
(pear great, endive--not so much)
Grilled romaine and roasted mixed pepper salad
(this was a waste--couldn't even cut the romaine)
Paella-- both versions were really good
For dessert, we had the bread pudding (AWESOME), chocolate pate (a little too dense), carmelized bananas (I wish I could make this at home), pecan pie (just ok).
To drink, we loved the pitcher of sangria, the SANTA JULIA TORRONTES 1999, ARGENTINA was a steal at $26, and the Realeza tempranillo 1998, spain was fine- nothing special.
All in all, we had a good time, and some good food. The service was largely indifferent, which was a little irritating. But I think the place is great for groups, and for sharing food.
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