I kept reading about this new Italian Tapas bar/restaurant in my neighborhood that has gotten pretty good reviews and been voted one of the best new restaurants, so I decided to try it out as a belated birthday celebration 😉
They don’t take reservations, so we tried to go early, but didn’t make it until around 6:30pm (on a Saturday). While, all the booths were taken, we did get seats at one of the communal tables in the back. The nice thing about these tables is that they have 2 person benches, so since my fiance and I sat across from each other, we didn’t get crowded as the second seat on the bench didn’t get filled. I hope they never seat two couples at these tables, as it would be a bit too intimate 🙂 Plus, there didn’t seem to be enough room on the table for all the plates.
The first challenge was picking the wine. All the wines on the list were Italian and listed by region, which didn’t help us much as we don’t know enough about the Italian wine regions. Thankfully, our server was more than willing to help and he gave descriptions of his favorites. We decided on a bottle of Soave Stele (2010) and it was exactly as our server described it: crisp, refreshing, a bit fruity, but not too sweet. Overall, a very nice wine that went great with the dinner.
In terms of food, the biggest section is the Cicchetti, which are Italian tapas. There were too many great choices, so we decided to just try the chef’s value selection to be able to try more dishes, for less. It came with calamari, farro and orzo salads, and pickled onions, which were all tasty, but the highlight was the baby mushrooms! I had a bad experience with mushrooms as a child, so even though I try to eat more mushrooms now that I can cook them to my taste, they’re not my favorite food, and I usually try to hide them in dishes ;-)…but these baby mushrooms were so tasty, that I couldn’t get enough!
We also had the prosciutto panini, which was nice and warm, the asparagus bruschetta, the arancini neri (which got an approving nod from our server – they were crisp on the outside, warm and soft on the inside) and beef carpaccio. All dishes were tasty, fresh and vibrant. We ended our meal with a piece of tiramisu (pretty generous portion), which was light and delicious.
Overall, a very enjoyable meal. We will definitely go back and maybe this time we can get seated at one of the booths…they looked so comfy 🙂 I am very happy to have this restaurant/bar in my neighborhood within walking distance!