This little restaurant is tucked away off the Corso Umberto and has no View to offer so it must rely on the quality of its food and service. We sat down and ordered wine. I was hesitating between a couple of regional selections of red wines. The head waiter gently nudged me to a Cabernet Sauvignon by D'Almerita, a 2004 , and his last bottle. I couldn't pass it up. He came to the table and opened it. He waited while a carafe was retrieved and then he decanted it. He poured it into two large wine glasses, appropriate for a big wine and did not ask me to taste it. This was no faux pas. He said simply, if I didn't like it, he would be happy to give me another bottle. It was an exhibition of his confidence and was done with a sense of humor. He asked me to taste it and then I knew why. The wine was simply exquisite. It had a very round aroma, archetypically Cabernet, in a California sense. This was no "elegant" Bordeaux style wine. It was huge and had great structure. There was a unique terroir to it and it stole the evening for both Lisa and me.
I had to sample the Arancini on the entree menu. So, I did, ordering them and forcing Lisa to get the Caprese. We were both glad we did. The Arancini were crispy on the outside and had a nice, creamy texture. The Caprese also had a variation of a mozzarella in Carrozo. Except, this version was a mozzarella stuffed pasta di panna that was deep fried. It was delicious.
I ordered the spaghetti Frutti di mare and Lisa ordered the pappardelle with a porcini sauce. My pasta was excellent. It had clams, mussels, calamari in a white sauce. Perfect! Lisa, on the other hand was not so lucky. The porcini was a bit "mushy" as porcini can tend to be. Not experiencing fresh porcini much in Texas, we weren't quite sure whether this was how it is. I didn't think so. Typically, I make porcini from the dry type and reconstitute them. I then add them to other mushrooms in a pasta and reserve the liquid, reducing it to add to the sauce. This was just too, well, mushy. Hence, we remove one star. But, I am convinced Lisa and I will go back to allow for a redemption. I will need to see whether the 2005 is as good as the 2004. If all is as it should be, I will revisit this review.
Oh yes, the staff was incredibly warm and friendly. The young waitress was trying to help me pronounce the wine and began fumbling herself to the delight of us all. The head waiter-owner-was very helpful. All in all a truly delightful evening.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.