The entrance is hidden and the tiny alcove was packed. Our table of five was seated three across with two other flanked on the end. Now this wouldn't have been that bad were we not facing a steaming window that looked out onto the street. I dine out (no pun intended) with family and friends because I want to see and engage with them, but this set up made that premise largely impossible. So if there wasn't going to be conversation, then the food had better be damn good.
And they were one of the restaurants that served ONLY the Dine Out Menu, which they neglected to mention on their website. For starters, we got the Saute di Vongole, Manila clams in a sauce of extra virgin olive oil, white wine, garlic and chillies. As you can see, the clams were done perfectly, and the restaurant was starting to redeem itself.
On their $38 menu, they had a carpaccio, and on the $28 version that I tried, I chose the Bresaola, which was sliced super thin and served with arugula and parmesan. The portion was decent and the textures were bang on. There was also a little citrus imparted by some lemon extract, this dish was very good.
For our entrees, we one of each, the first being the Risotto alla Pescatora with an abundant mix of shellfish. The risotto was cooked to a perfect al dente and the seafood was nice and bouncy. The shrimp was the highlight here, but everything came together very nicely.
The second entree we tried was the Gigli Primavera, a pasta shaped just like a lily, with a bit of simple organic tomato sauce, and a healthy portion of burrata mozzarella cheese imported directly from Puglia. My mom fell in love with the shape of the pasta but the cheese was a bit heavy handed. Perhaps serving it in a smaller portion would have been less daunting for her. The flavours were fresh and light, perfect for my mom's tastes.
Our last entree was their Pappardelle Rosse, in an organic tomato sauce with a multitude of meats, a ragu of beef tenderloin, some boneless shortrib, a bit of chicken breast and some Italian fennel sausages. Yes, truly a meatlover's dream. The pasta, though not made in-house, is fresh and very good texturally. The blend of meats is good, with some being very tender and some having a good bite to them. This was the clear winner for me tonight.
For desserts, we tried both with the first as a Creme Brulee, with hints of lavender. The crust was just as you would expect, with a definite crust and crunch.
The second dessert wasn't as amazing, it was a Tiramisu that just fell a little bit flat. The flavours were okay, but the presentation was a bit bland.
All in all, I would say that the food was good, but the seating arrangement (at least during Dine Out) left a lot to be desired.
- Seating is not ideal due to the limited size of the location
- Service is good and empathic towards negativity
- Pastas are amazing