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#1 ExtraMSG

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:30 AM

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Forgot that Foster Burger wasn't open on Wednesdays, so we ended up at Accanto. Casual, midscale bar atmosphere. Tables are only around the wall and windows. There's a long bar and counter looking over the small kitchen. There's a nice little sitting area in the far back with bookshelves and comfy seating.

Menu:

SNACKS
Apple, ricotta salata and rosemary focaccia 5
Antipasti plate-marinated olives, squash and pomegranate agrodolce, walnuts, herb ricotta crostini 6
Winter greens with pickled root vegetables, parmesan and focaccia crouton 7
Seasonal soup of the day (ginger-carrot on this visit) 7
Fritto Misto of seafood, olives and vegetables 9
Terrine of duck and pork with pickled beets, chianti mustard and toasted bread 9
Saffron Arancini, fried rice croquettes filled with Dungeness crab and house made ricotta 10

SALUMI E FROMAGGI
Small (4 selections) 9
Large (6 selections) 12

PANINI
Mozzarella, preserved tomatoes and rapini 7
Bresaola, Robiola and arugula 8
Van de Rose ham, Fontal and pear 8
Braised wild boar, pickled onions and provolone picante 9

PLATES
Winter green and ricotta panzotti tossed in walnut pesto with herbs and parmesan 12
Crostini di Polenta ai Funghi- Crispy polenta topped with a mixed mushroom ragu 13
House made potato gnocchi, rabbit ragout and Pecorino Romano 14
Fennel and chili stuffed chicken leg, creamy polenta and chili garlic oil 16
Pan roasted steelhead with golden raisins, chestnuts, spinach, fingerling potatoes and vincotto 17

DESSERT
$7.00
Tiramisu
Meyer Lemon Tart with Fennel Ice Cream
Chocolate Budino with Burnt Sugar Ice Cream
Ice Creams and Sorbettos of the Day


We ordered the winter greens, crab croquettes, boar sandwich, and stuffed chicken leg, plus the lemon tart for dessert.

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Salad was better than expected. The pickled root vegetables were thinly sliced, keeping their flavors from overwhelming any bites. The sourness balanced the bitterness of the greens. Nice large shavings of parmesan added saltiness and nuttiness.

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My wife really enjoyed the crab croquettes. They were crisp on the outside, creamy with sweet crab meat on the inside. There was a sweet tomato sauce below and a great addition, a slice of fried lemon, to garnish that brightened whichever bites it touched or was a part of. It was mild enough to be eaten on its own.

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Larger plates were more of a letdown, though still decent. The greens that came with the chicken were overly bitter. I think the garlic might have been burnt a little. The polenta had a nice flavor, but a gummy texture. The chicken was well-prepared. The skin was crisp. The meat was juicy. The stuffing was too smooth, imo, but the main problem was that the chicken and sausage was under-seasoned. I also didn't think the fennel flavor was prominent enough. The sausage was flat-tasting, too.

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The boar sandwich came with a really pleasant selection of pickled veggies. It also came with what seemed to be house-made potato chips. They were very crisp and light, but had an off-flavor, like they were a little burnt or the oil was. The braised boar in the sandwich was tender and sloppy-wet. The pickled onions did a great job of adding a tangy component of what was primarily meaty and sweet. The boar by itself was rather flat, though. It needed some layering of the flavors.

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Tart was on par with the mains. The tart's crust was underbaked and pasty. The tart filling was sharper and sweeter than expected, given that it was a meyer lemon tart. I was hoping for something more subtle and nuanced. And it needed to be because while the fennel ice cream had a nice flavor and texture, it was entirely overwhelmed by the lemon tart.

They only had one server and one cook on, plus a bartender. Things were definitely slow. (It took over a half hour for our mains to come out after our first courses were finished.) Perhaps they normally have more people working and things would be more carefully and quickly prepared.

Accanto
2838 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214
503.235.4900
http://www.accantopdx.com

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#2 vrunka

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:56 AM

We had a pleasant meal there a few weeks back. I failed to take notes so I've forgotten what we got, but I left with a generally positive impression. We sat at the bar and watched the cooks dance around each other which is always fun -- this was not long after opening and they seemed like they still needed to work on their rhythm a little, but we were impressed by how well they were cranking out dishes in what they told us was their first big dinner rush. The cooks were also very friendly without butting into our meal (or their cooking time) too much.

Food-wise, what I recall from the meal is that we were more happy with the starters than the mains. We got a panini with taleggio and I was a little disappointed that the taleggio wasn't stinkier, but that could be just me. I asked if I could order the cimabue dessert from Genoa and for just a buck more than their desserts, they obliged which was awfully nice of them. I loved, loved this dessert like crazy at old Genoa and though it's somewhat different now, it still had all the same qualities that I loved about it way back when. I love it even more now that I know I don't have to pay big bucks and down 7 courses in order to have it.

In sum, I'm glad it's in our neighborhood. I'll definitely be back to see how they develop their menu. I think they'll be turning out some interesting dishes. It could fill the vacuum left by Noble Rot as the go-to place for high-quality food for not too much cash.

#3 Angelhair

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 10:09 AM

Accanto Brunch Menu:

http://pdx.eater.com...vealed.php#more

Frittata with mushrooms, arugula, mascarpone cheese and truffles 9
Frittata with sopressata, Mama Lil’s peppers and Talleggio cheese 9
Smoked salmon scramble with fennel, red onion and crème fraiche 9
Strata – bread and egg custard with mushrooms, bacon and Parmesan 9
Poached eggs over polenta & pancetta hash with leeks, fennel and piquillo peppers 10
Sage and Parmesan biscuit topped with Van de Rose ham and Italian sausage gravy 10
Panettone French toast with Amaretto syrup, pear compote and whipped cream 9
Poached egg over creamy polenta with garlicky braised greens 8

Sides
Fennel bacon 4
Roasted gremolata potatoes 3
Roasted seasonal vegetables 5
Braised greens 4
House made sage biscuits 3
Scone or quick bread of the day 3
Two farm eggs poached or scrambled 4

Sandwiches
Mozzarella, preserved tomatoes and rapini 7
Albacore tuna salad with capers and lemon 8
Bresaola, Robiola and Arugula 8
Van de Rose ham, Fontal and pear 8
Braised wild boar, pickled onions and provolone piccante 9

Salumi e Formaggi
Served with onion caper relish and bread
Small (4 selections) 9
Large (6 selections) 12

Desserts ($7 each)
Classic Tiramisu
Yogurt and Marscapone cheesecake with biscotti crust and pine nut brittle
Chocolate Budino with Burnt Sugar ice cream
Selection of ice creams and sorbettos of the day



#4 John DePaula

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 05:14 PM

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...
We ordered the winter greens, crab croquettes, boar sandwich, and stuffed chicken leg, plus the lemon tart for dessert.

Posted Image

Salad was better than expected. The pickled root vegetables were thinly sliced, keeping their flavors from overwhelming any bites. The sourness balanced the bitterness of the greens. Nice large shavings of parmesan added saltiness and nuttiness.

Posted Image

My wife really enjoyed the crab croquettes. They were crisp on the outside, creamy with sweet crab meat on the inside. There was a sweet tomato sauce below and a great addition, a slice of fried lemon, to garnish that brightened whichever bites it touched or was a part of. It was mild enough to be eaten on its own.

Posted Image

Larger plates were more of a letdown, though still decent. The greens that came with the chicken were overly bitter. I think the garlic might have been burnt a little. The polenta had a nice flavor, but a gummy texture. The chicken was well-prepared. The skin was crisp. The meat was juicy. The stuffing was too smooth, imo, but the main problem was that the chicken and sausage was under-seasoned. I also didn't think the fennel flavor was prominent enough. The sausage was flat-tasting, too.

Posted Image

The boar sandwich came with a really pleasant selection of pickled veggies. It also came with what seemed to be house-made potato chips. They were very crisp and light, but had an off-flavor, like they were a little burnt or the oil was. The braised boar in the sandwich was tender and sloppy-wet. The pickled onions did a great job of adding a tangy component of what was primarily meaty and sweet. The boar by itself was rather flat, though. It needed some layering of the flavors.

Posted Image

Tart was on par with the mains. The tart's crust was underbaked and pasty. The tart filling was sharper and sweeter than expected, given that it was a meyer lemon tart. I was hoping for something more subtle and nuanced. And it needed to be because while the fennel ice cream had a nice flavor and texture, it was entirely overwhelmed by the lemon tart.

Well even if all dishes weren't prepared to your taste, I must say they look perfectly delicious in your photos - thanks for the report and photos!
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#5 ian carmany

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 01:52 PM

Breakfast this morning was very good. Had the Poached eggs over polenta & pancetta hash with leeks, fennel and piquillo peppers and the house cured bacon. Split between two was a reasonable portion. Seasoned very well. I always forget that a table without salt is a dish well seasoned (by the chef). Any way, get on it before everyone else does.

#6 Amanda

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 03:41 PM

Welcome to the site, ian carmany!

Best regards,

Amanda

#7 vrunka

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 06:09 PM

I went for brunch today, too. We got the polenta pancetta hash with poached eggs and mushroom-arugula frittata. I loved, loved the preparation of the polenta hash. I'm not really a frittata person, but the flavors were good. The potatoes came in a gremolata dressing and were very tasty, but seemed like they'd been held too long and because they were done in such fine dice a lot of them were dried out. I think they'll eventually figure that out, though.

I was overall really impressed with how well brunch went over all, what with it being their very first day of service. The menu has a nice variety and is all well thought out, dishes came out quickly and everything seemed cooked appropriately (most notably my poached eggs which were exactly right). $3 for coffee is pretty steep, but at least they kept it flowing.

Definitely glad to have it in the neighborhood.

#8 Calabrese

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:18 PM

Has anyone had dinner here recently. I am planning on going with a friend who doesn't go out all that much in a couple of weeks and I'd like it to be a good experience.

#9 RM

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 03:06 PM

Has anyone had dinner here recently. I am planning on going with a friend who doesn't go out all that much in a couple of weeks and I'd like it to be a good experience.


They have the same menu all day, lunch through dinner, with a happy hour from 3-6 I believe (just looked at the website and they don't mention the happy hour anymore - not usre what the deal is with that).

Had lunch with a a group of 5 on St Patty's Day and enjoyed the Minestrona (soup) while others had the Tagliatelle and the wild boar sandwich. Everyone was happy with the meal.

I'd had the gnocchi at an early dinner about a month or so ago and was not particularly impressed, not much ragu to go with it and they were more chewy that I'd prefer. My dad really enjoyed the frito misto and we all enjoyed the salumi /cheese plate, its one of the better ones I've enjoyed lately.

They have a nice space and the wait staff is attentive and helpful. I felt it was a relaxing place but they do get full early for dinner (6ish).

#10 Calabrese

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:51 PM

Tonight was the night I went to Accanto with a friend.

We started by sharing the rabbit terrine with the pickled rhubarb and grain mustard. It was good. The pickled rhubarb was unexpected but very good. I am guessing it might have been a rice vinegar base. It had an almost floral quality.

I had the pork shank osso bucco over white beans with orange gremolata which was really tasty and I totally appreciated the marrow spoon because the bone was loaded. The chard that came with it was pretty OK for someone who doesn't really like chard either.

Dining partner had the Paglia e Fieno fettucine. She liked it. I did not taste it.

We shared the blood orange panna cotta. The panna cotta had a nice consistency (not as killer as Toro Bravo but good). The blood orange syrup was a nice touch. The panna cotta was molded and set on a slice of white chocolate. The ginger tuile basket with peeled orange slices was too cute and did not add anything to the plate.

We each had a glass of wine with our meals. Total was $63.

Service was fine.

#11 ExtraMSG

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:03 AM

http://www.portlandm...ent?oid=2480344

AT THE DRESSED-DOWN Accanto, the space is filled with light even on an overcast day. The large bar corralling both booze and kitchen makes the space feel down-to-earth and welcoming. Though it looks quite spacious, it manages to feel intimate.

Walking through the front door you are directed to sit at any open seat, which can result in indecisive milling as you look for a suitable table (turns out they're all suitable). This is the first sign of the restaurant's laidback style—a style equally apparent in jocular wait staff, who manage to project an air of both friendliness and refinement while remaining professional and on-point.

The menu is a manageable something-for-everyone kind of affair, allowing diners to splurge on a $17 braised pork shank or nibble on a $9 plate of fritto misto.


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#12 Calabrese

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 06:55 AM

Had my second meal at Accanto last night.

Dinner started with my date and I sharing the spinach and potato frittata with the black truffle aioli. It was flavorful with hints of nutmeg and the crispy bottom lent a nice texture. I would have liked to see a bit more on the plate.

My pasta course was the squid ink ravioli with Dungeness crab. This was a rich and flavorful dish. The crab nage sauce was a nice touch. I had a side of the braised greens which were good too. Date had the potato gnocchi with the sunchoke chips. I thought the chips were a playful touch. This was also a tasty dish (as I sampled a bit).

Dessert was tiramisu for me. I liked it but thought the chocolate sauce might have been overkill. She has a rhubarb and almond tart with cardamom ice cream. I liked the ice cream.

We also split a bottle of prosecco, each had an espresso, and split a lemoncello. Tab pre-tip was under $100.

Great meal.

On the way in, I noticed that Patrick Schultz is now at Genoa along with Dan Mondak. I can see that Genoa will be on my visit list soon.

#13 Calabrese

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 03:34 PM

I took a date to brunch at Accanto today. We got there at opening (and I reserved through Open Table to be safe). I'd have to call the experience mixed.

The food was good to very good. There were four entrees that called my name but in the end, I had to choose crab. However, my plate with crab Benedict arrived with the potatoes piping hot and the eggs, crab, and sauce were lukewarm at best. That part got cold quickly. It was like it sat waiting at the pass or something. The eggs were also bit snotty and I prefer my poached eggs perfect. Putting food like that on hot plates really helps the whole situation.

The hollandaise was interesting because they'd added saffron to it. It lacked the usual zing from lemon (which would have likely overpowered the saffron) and I think meyer lemons might have suited the crab better. The potatoes were perfect and nice and brown and crispy.

My date had the croque madame. I had a taste and it was quite nice.

I had a prosecco drink with elderberry and citrus. I've had similar drinks before at other places and liked the others better. My date had an alcoholic coffee drink. She liked it. It was not to my taste but I believe was well made. We also got a plate of the ricotta donuts. They were OK. I like the homemade donuts at Tasty and Son far better.

The biggest issue was service. There was one server for the whole place as far as I could tell. We put in the whole order at once (except I forgot the donuts and those got ordered later (dessert as it were). We were the first in the door and coffee arrived quickly. Food arrived next. And then the finally the drinks. I'd have liked my drink first. I know the server gave us the best attention that she could but she seemed scattered and harried as the place filled up quickly .

I'd go back but not as my top choice for brunch.

#14 Francine the Machine

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 04:17 PM

We ended up going to Accanto last night for dinner as we couldn't get a reservation for Little Bird which was our first choice. My husband and i were with some friends who had had a pretty good dinner here a few months back and so we thought we would give it a shot.

As with Calabrese's above-mentioned experience, ours was kind of a mixed one as well.

We chose a couple of starters: the fried sardines and the chicken liver pate. My friend LOVES fried sardines and was hoping they were going to be like the ones we have had in the past at Toro Bravo, but alas, they were not very fresh tasting, which resulted in an overly fishy flavor, and just not up to snuff with other iterations i have had in the past.
Now, know that sardines are kind of fishy by nature, but if anyone out there has had super freshly caught ones, they are truly delicious and actually pretty mild, especially when prepared very simply with just a scant breading and a squeeze of lemon and good olive oil. These were more heavily breaded, and just didn't have a lot going on, except the fishy thing.

We liked the chicken liver pate a whole lot better, and ended up asking for a bit more bread to finish it off, as they only gave us 3 pieces. What is UP with that, anyway? I notice it all over town. They bring you some big ramekin of stuff and just a scrap of bread to smear it on. What are you supposed to do, just swordfight with your tablemates over the rest? (not meant to be a sexual reference). It was kind of sweet, and i compared it to the mousse blob that Beast gives out on their charcuterie plate: Like MEAT ICE CREAM and then they also put some PORK BRITTLE on top of it. Um, yeah. This does not suck. I don't eat stuff like this a lot so i felt justified in the experience!

I got the crab ravioli because i can rarely pass up crab on a menu, and it did not disappoint, except that i wanted about twice as much of it. Though it had a mascarpone sauce, it was quite light, and not super filling so it found myself still hungry after finishing it, and also kind of embarrassed that i was done about 3 minutes after i got my food and everyone else still had a big plate staring them in the face. I think there were about 6 Nilla Wafer sized ravioli on the plate. It was topped with a smallish pile of arugula which complemented the lemony tang in the sauce.

But do not fear, kind reader, because i sated myself by eating a third of my husband's lasagna! It was just a simple spinach lasagna with a lamb ragu. Serviceable, but nothing mind blowing. I'm hard on lasagna because i think i make a pretty good one, and I have had so many bad ones. My friends got the Braised oxtail and the orecchiette dish but i did not try them so cannot comment except to say that they did not complain about any part of their meals. In fact, the oxtail looked pretty good and was huge.

We also had a nice bottle of Brick House Gamay with dinner and it was outstanding and a fair price, given the fact that i have been to that winery and remember how much their wines cost so the markup was v. reasonable.

Dessert was good and bad. We got the chocolate Budino and the Tiramisu. The Budino was a perfect melt in your mouth cakey pudding or is that pudding-y cake? Topped with a bit of vanilla ice cream. It was a nice dish. The tiramisu, however, was gritty and just tasted not so fresh. It had an odd texture, and was not creamy as i think it should be. No discernible booze flavor, which i personally think is part of the whole tiramisu package. I only had a bit or 2, and i noticed everyone else did the same, leaving a fairly good sized hunk.

All in all, it just seems like Accanto has some consistency issues, and there are other places in the same canon that do not (I'm looking at Nostrana and Castagna) So, why go there if i can get a more reliable good meal (and service) at the other joints? Just my humble opinion...

#15 sacman

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:20 PM

Stopped at Accanto before a visit to Genoa tonight.

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I had a cardamom and rhubarb-infused brandy sidecar. It's made with a simple syrup that's been slightly caramelized. I enjoyed the deepness of the caramel, but the cardamom is really the star of this cocktail. Delicious.

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I had the bruschetta. This is Little T baguette, slathered with goat cheese, then topped with scallion, shaved breakfast radish, favas, and a vinaigrette. Also delicious. It's a generous helping, too.

Both these items are on the HH menu, but I was there a little late for the HH prices. With tip, this was $15. A lovely, fresh, and tasty snack.

This was the first bruschetta that absolutely demanded a fork, though.

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- I am an employee of a Portland-based firm that has business relationships with several local food-related businesses.

#16 Jill-O

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:31 PM

I've been to brunch at Accanto twice now. Great meals both times. No lines, nice space, love the menu, great service...don't know why it isn't more crowded (but I am not complaining). We haven't been there before because they open at 10, which is usually a bit late for us for breakfast...but we have had a couple of late starts in the last couple of months.

My first time there I had the duck hash, which was good - perfectly poached eggs, nicely seasoned hash, rich and delicious duck. Sue had the polenta with greens and eggs, which came with a very hot chili oil. I don't usually like polenta that much, but this was amazing stuff...I'd order this myself.

But next time we went in, I didn't order it. I hadn't eaten dinner the night before (a very late lunch led to no dinner) so I was starving, and the special of steak and eggs with crispy potatoes sounded so good, I had to go there. Glad I did...it was really good - perfectly cooked steak (rare, as requested), a really flavorful topping of sauteed peppers and onions, super crisp potatoes and perfectly cooked eggs.

The coffee is good, there are some nice lighter items like granola and yogurt, a fruit plate. and some nice sweets like ricotta doughnuts and sweet bread specials (one time it was a coffee cake, another time it was gingerbread).

I'm sure we will make it back in the next time we sleep in...
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#17 WAfoodie

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 07:18 AM

First visit to Accanto last Sunday. It was a cloudy day, but the big windows on two sides brought a lot of daylight into the airy, enjoyable space. Easy to find residential parking behind the Italian cafe.

We ordered two apps, two pastas, two desserts and two cocktails.

 

Fritto misto of shrimp, calamari, lemon, fennel, and castelvetrano olives. The best I've had in a long time as the seafood was tender, shrimp and calamari had the succulent texture that I look for, nice addition of the fried olives. We also ordered the suppli. The fried rice balls filled with shredded short rib and mozz were delicious. If you cut the suppli in half and separated them, the mozz would dangle like telephone lines, my test that it's prepared the way I like it. Whoever was manning the fry station does an excellent job. Both apps were greaseless and battered perfectly. Could make a meal with just the apps.

 

Pastas were BUCATINI all'AMATRICIANA and TAGLIATELLE con MAIALE. Both housemade pastas, both al dente. Bucatini had small, meaty, fatty cubes of house guanciale. So much richer than pancetta so you don't need a lot of it but it gives it such a special taste. And it had a bit of heat to the red sauce. Also, the tagliatelle was made with a white bolognese of braised pork ribs. It was meaty and rich. Very happy with both choices.

 

I was really after the striped bass per the on-line menu, a fish that I rarely see offered, as a main dish, but I guess I waited too long to visit because it wasn't offered that night. The option that night was the seasonal halibut.

 

For dessert, we ordered cannoli and affogato. The ricotta-filled cannoli was served on a board alongside a blueberry coulis and sprinkling of ground pistachio. The cannoli shell was bubbly, perfectly thin and crispy. The affogato espresso was strong and was tempered well by the vanilla gelato.

 

Their current chef came on board last year I think. So if you haven't been there lately (last post above was 2012), some things have changed.

I think they live up to their emphasis about fresh, seasonal Italian food and simple yet sophisticated, with the warmth and welcome of a true neighborhood corner café. Service was friendly and attentive. A nice crowd, but not overly crowded, during our visit. Very reasonably priced. I was told the tequila cocktail on special was good also.