I had wanted to try Valdino West after hearing about it on a chowhound thread a few months back and had the chance to eat there over the weekend with my family. We were not disappointed.We were starving after a long day of walking but fortunately this place served up large portions of very good food. A few thoughts:
Ambience/Service-Very cozy, casual setting.It seems to be a neighborhood place. It is small, but we enjoyed the atmosphere. Service was good.
Appetizers-I personally love a simple cheese and salami appetizer and their version, which included 3 huge chunks of pecorino cheese with slices of a spicy salame, was terrific.I hated having to share it. We also got the bresaola rolls which are filled with arugola and parmesan and topped with truffle oil was not my thing but they were enjoyed by others. The caprese with buffalo mozzarella was good as was the salad with shrimp,artichokes and mushrooms.My daughters split the special crabmeat sald.Very good overall and the portion sizes satisfied much of our hunger.
Main Course-one of the reasons I went here is that it was mentioned in a thread as having great gnocchi in gorgonzola, a personal favorite.I was nervous when I did not see it on the menu or as a special.The waiter, however, told us that they were still being made in the kitchen.(we were there a little early).My son and I both ordered it and we both enjoyed it. The gnocchi itself was very good, as good if not better than Da Andrea, but the sauce was a little mild.I prefer the sharper gorgonzola like they serve at Bianca, but the gnocchi here was very good. My daughter ordered the sesame crusted tuna, which was served sliced over a salad. Perfectly cooked and the crust was very tasty. My other daughter ordered the homemade noodles with smoked salmon a light cream sauce. I did not get to try any but everyone seemed to enjoy it. It was a huge portion.My wife ordered the penne caprese, which was prepared almost like a warm summer salad. Very good.
Desserts-Unfortunately, not a strong point.Very standard and forgetable.
Value-Outstanding! Our meal, which included 6 appetizers,5 entrees and 5 desserts, as well as several glasses of red wine and soft drinks, came to a $220.00. We had a few bags of leftovers.
Overall, this is a great place to go for a fun and casual meal at an affordable price. The food was fresh and the portions were large.