It must be a fabulous restaurant if you can love the vegetables at a place that is famous for its preserved meats. The sliced parsnips and carrots were spiked with just enough flakes of parmesan (the real thing, Reggiano, and that’s what they called it). The beets were cooked in parchment with hazelnuts and goat cheese, and were delicious, redolent with subtle and surprising smells and tastes. The winey risotto was good. The bolognese on tagliatelle was quite authentic, tasting of the good meat and the odori (carrots, onions, celery) and not overpowered with tomatoes. But it was just slightly too sweet. The roast suckling pig was good if not surprising. The skin was glass-like hard. I wondered where the fat layer had gone – it didn’t seem to be on the plate.
We’ll definitely be back, anxious to try a lot of the dishes we didn’t get to, including those preserved meats. When we do return, we hope the kitchen has developed a lighter hand with the salt shaker. Nearly everything was too salty, from the otherwise perfect, crusty bread to the pasta and the risotto. We didn’t expect real Tuscan bread which completely lacks salt, started because of an ancient salt tax, and perhaps preserved because of all the great leftover dishes you can make with unsalted bread, and what a great foil it is for those salty preserved meats.
The desserts were generally marvelous, from my mother’s tiramisu to Dave’s wine-stewed dates on mascarpone, to my Neapolitan donut balls. The donuts were good even though their centers were raw. My guess is the oil wasn’t hot enough, since the crusty good outside had also acquired too much oil.
We hardly missed the mussels, frites, red cabbage, and Belgian beer we used to enjoy at this very location.
Parsnips, carrots, cheese, yum.
Those lovely beets with hazelnuts.
Roast suckling pig.
Neapolitan donuts, good outside, raw inside, but don’t we all like to eat dough?
Dates stewed in wine on mascarpone.
My dad’s dessert, strawberries inside.