While our power was out during Tropical Storm Irene, my husband, son (who was visiting) and I decided to go out for dinner... somewhere casual with a bar so we could watch the Red Sox/Yankees game. We decided on Rosy Tomorrow's in Danbury because they have big TVs...but when we pulled into their parking lot it was mega packed, and I knew there would be a wait. (There were a lot of people without power that night.)
That was fortunate for us, because we drove a bit further down the road and ended up at Rraci's, an Italian restaurant on Route 6, about two miles from Trader Joe's in Danbury, across the border into Brewster, NY.
I had never been to Rraci's before but had read good things about it on Chowhound. We were dressed too casually for this place in my opinion (guys in shorts, me in a Sox T-shirt). Rraci's is a nicely appointed, romantic-even, good quality restaurant. I asked the hostess if they had a bar, she said yes and led us to it. I felt we would be o.k. at the bar because there weren't a lot of others in the room, and it seemed more casual.
The bartender, David, an older gentleman, put us completely at ease. He was very welcoming and had a great sense of humor. The TV was already tuned into the ball game, so we were set.
We shared a variety of dishes among the three of us.
A salad called Misticanza was light and refreshing. It had mixed organic baby lettuces, pear shavings, pecorino cheese and my favorite - roasted walnuts.
Pastas are available in full or half portions. We had half portions of cavatelli with sweet Italian sausage, broccoli rabe and freshly chopped tomato, and gnocchi with marinara. Both were very good. I'm not a broccoli rabe fan though, so I was more taken with the gnocchi which were the soft delicate clouds they should be.
We had Short Ribs braised in Chianti, and Veal Valdostana - a loin of veal stuffed with prosciutto and fontina cheese, with a brown porcini and shitaki mushroom sauce.
Even though short ribs tend to be a hearty cold weather meal, I can't resist them, and order them almost anywhere I see them on a menu. I also love to make them at home. The ribs at Rraci's rank highly - the meat was fork tender and flavorful, and the sauce was plentiful and had the rich savory depth you want with luscious meat. The portion size was also very generous - three good sized ribs.
The Veal Val was also quite good. Delicious veal with prosciutto and cheese that oozed so nicely. Again, a rich sauce made it delectable.
We accompanied our meal with wine and cocktails. Wine pours are unbelievably generous, nearly a full glass. One more reason to tip David very well.
We didn't have dessert, but they have souffles on the menu!! Oh how I wish...
Delicious Food + Warm Ambiance and Service + Lovely Decor = Many return trips to Rraci's.