Restaurants & Bars 5

RW 07: Taranta

iamsam | Aug 15, 2007 07:59 AM

Had a really lovely evening at Taranta last night. Initially we were offered a table overlooking the street, but were worried it would get too chilly so opted for one along the wall instead. (Was that the chef/owner who greeted us? He wore a black chef’s jacket.)

Charming waiter and atmosphere, bread a bit chewy, and serving only the Restaurant Week menu. (After a bit of disappointing service at Sorellina last week, I actually think I prefer this: like it or not, it’s only logical that a waiter would aim for better service at a table where he’ll be getting a bigger check. Serving only the RW menu eliminates this.)

All wines were 7.07, except for the red and whites of the day. The red of the day was a Malbec, which my friend ordered and enjoyed; I had a Montepulciano.

We both started with the pan roasted mussels with braised pancetta and shallots, in a delicious sauce (enter the chewy bread—perfect for sopping it up!). The cucumber soup at the next table over also looked quite nice. One mussel was unopened, but in a giant bowl of them, who can complain?

My only quibble with the service was that they cleared plates before we were both finished, my biggest restaurant pet peeve. Wait for EVERYONE to put their forks down, please! Also, the waiter or kitchen must have timed it wrong, because they brought over our mains while I was still sopping up some of that broth with my bread.

Next, I had the gnocchi (handmade?) with braised lamb ragu and parmesan. Again, fabulous sauce, a bit of kick to it, really nice mix of flavors. Friend had the tilapia, which I had a bite of, with fried garbanzos. She seemed to enjoy it a lot, and we were definitely more-than-satisfied with the portion sizes.

For dessert, she was the clear winner with the limoncello sorbet. I found my mango cheesecake to be cloyingly sweet and should have just waited it out for a cannoli down the street.

All in all, a wonderful dinner, and I’d definitely recommend Taranta for RW.

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