gracecheung604 | write on time: Catching up at Culinaria

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Catching up at Culinaria

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Long overdue for a work get together, I took it upon myself to find somewhere close but new (at least to me). We settled on Culinaria and to my surprise, of the four of us, none had tried it although we've all walked/driven by lots of times.
We started off with a Beet and Prosciutto salad for the table. This was really good, with both yellow and red beets and lots of greens and two fairly generous slices of lean prosciutto. This was enough for four people to share as one of two appetizers. 
For our other appy, we got the mussels...simply poached with some chopped tomatoes, this was clearly a miss. Several of our mussels were undercooked, although the shells were technically open. We pried one fully open and used a fork to nudge the meat out...well, it was VERY reminiscent of the sea...too much so my colleague spat it out. I guess it was our fault for not mentioning it to the waitress, but my co-workers are just too shy at times.  
Our waitress told us that they were completely out of bread due to an early lunch rush. Understandable, but regrettable, I was curious if their bread would be served warm. Since there wasn't any bread, we ordered one extra side...fries...Don't ask me how this substitutes for bread, but it does. And their real mayo aoili on the side was amazing.
One of my co-workers got the Spring Vegetable Tart...it looked pretty good, with a some tomatoes, zucchini and other assorted veggies and greens. I didn't try this dish, but the oil/jus at the bottom of the dish did scare me a bit...to tell you the truth...
One co-worker got the lamb, and decided to split it with us. We each got a slice but I have to say, it was a little fatty, and unlike the mussels, a bit over cooked. I do like asparagus though! I guess it's harder to cook a lamb shank perfectly as opposed to little racks of them. A good sauce did help to take away from the "done-ness" of the lamb, but perhaps undercooking it would have been better. The sauce was probably hot when it was poured onto the lamb, and further cooked the lamb. 
Two of us got the Prawn Tagliatelle...sorry for the slightly blurry picture, but I really wanted to eat. There were 5 perfectly cooked prawns sitting on a bed of al dente pasta. The light tomato sauce was well-suited for the pasta, and served to complement the prawns. 
Although there were some misses during this lunch, I would say that the hits really made up for it. I would probably avoid the mussels in the future. And likely ask for my lamb to be very rare to avoid the over-done-ness in the future...but considering this is a school, the food (and service) was surprisingly good.
Culinaria on Urbanspoon

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