Saturday, October 23, 2010


Friends of ours have a standing date night every week. I am both impressed and amazed. I try to keep in mind they only have one child but still .... for months I have been promising myself that Terry and I will go out more. We finally picked a night and decided to make this a routine event - not every week, but at least every other.

We knew the sitter was coming in a few hours, and we had no idea where to go. Terry makes a strange request - Italian food (we never go out for Italian), and further surprise - it sounded good to me. There's a place just down Vossitanya a few blocks so we decide to try it out. It's next door to a new Czech brewpub looking place so that was our backup.

First, the drinks. I had a glass of the midrange Montepulciano. It was very mediocre. Drinkable, but it had me wondering what the house wine was like. Terry got the home brew, which turned out to be almost a wheat beer. I really liked it and offered to trade but he liked the wine even less.

Starters: I had the Caesar salad with warm chicken (there was no plain Caesar options) and Terry had vegetables with Feta. Turns out he was the big winner on that course. My salad was oozing with too much dressing and the dressing had way too much anchovy in it. It was fine, to be honest, but nothing to love. The pesto drizzled over the chicken was nice but the chicken itself was tasteless, which was strange given that it was so moist. Terry's salad was so fresh and refreshing. The dressing was light and just the right amount, it was basically a Greek salad with really good ingredients. Yum!

Main: I wasn't too hungry so I got the smoked tomato soup. Delicious! We tried to figure out how it got the smoky taste which was strong but more in the finish than the first taste. I have to imagine they smoked tomatoes then cooked and pureed them into soup. Terry got a spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce and salami. I didn't taste but he wasn't impressed.

Dessert: T stayed simple with ice cream and cappuccino. Turns out he's definitely the overall winner for tonight. I figured the desserts are all outsourced so there's a decent chance the apple strudel is tasty. Wrong! The pastry was heavy and soft and the fruit tasted lemony. It did come with cinnamon ice cream, which was tasty. In a city where a cheap blini takeout place serves loose leaf tea, I don't know what higher end places see in Althaus brand. The jasmine tea was worse than the stuff I got $3 for 100 bags in Chinatown.

Final verdict: If we actually want to go out for Italian food, we'll definitely be back. The standout dishes were good enough to warrant trying other dishes to find a full winner meal for each of us, and the location can't be beat.

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