My hubby and I headed to Macchialina Taverna Rustica because we are such big fans of the Pubbelly family and had yet to try this place.
We were there early and hungry and discovered that they had a tasting menu which is not advertised online. We had to go with that, but we were also in time for happy hour when they offer oysters at half the price. So, we started with a dozen oysters from Massachusetts and British Columbia. Yummmmy....they were fresh and the sauce that came with them was a nice compliment to the oysters. What a great start...
While we waited for the first course to arrive, they brought us olives with roasted tomato sauce as an amuse bouche. We don't eat olives, but I had a couple of them just to try the sauce, which was very nice.
Then came the first course, japanese mackerel with sliced cucumber, cherry tomato, olive oil and balsamic, and a crispy chip. It was succulent and you could taste all of the different textures in just one bite. Mmmmm....
The second course was grilled butter-squash with cauliflower, kale, pear, parmigiano cheese, and prosciutto di parma. Very scary description but it turned out to be a wonderful combination of flavors. We were happily surprised with this one.
The next course was the broccolini al cesare with toasted garlic, parmigiano, and boiled egg. This is the chef's play on caesar salad and it worked. Along with this plate, they brought us the next course of polenta with italian sausage and cipollini. Wow! This was one of the best items of the night. The polenta was creamy and cheesy and the sausage was sweet and spicy. Delicious!
The next course was something we ordered in addition to the tasting menu, because apparently it wasn't enough food (it was, but we eat a lot!). We asked our server for his favorite dish and he said it was the tortino di melenzene, which is cheese wrapped with sliced eggplant, baked, and served with tomato sauce and two slices of toasted bread. This was absolutely fabulous. The eggplant tasted more like bacon and the toast was so good I also ate it with the polenta. Our server said it fools vegetarians who think there is meat in this dish, but there isn't. Amazing!
Next came the fettucini pasta with porcini mushrooms, black truffle butter, and fresh basil. I'm getting hungry just writing this. The pasta is made from scratch at the restaurant and it melts in your mouth. From now on I will never eat store-bought pasta ever again!
Then we had the caneloni filled with meat and covered with beets and cheese. Needless to say the mere mentioning of beets scared me straight because for years my mom tried to make me eat beets with very disappointing results. Well, I loooooved this dish. The beets were fantastic, just a bit earthy and sweet. Maybe I do like beets -after all, I learned to love Brussels sprouts- :/
We also had the cavatelli machialina with baby meatballs, porchetta and pecorino pasta. It was sooooo good. At some point during our meal the three pasta dishes were in front of us and we were just chowing them down without even breathing. They were so good that we forgot to take a picture of them.
We then had the pork chop milanese with fava beans and mustard jus. The pork was perfectly tender and the batter was light and crunchy. My hubby ended up stealing half of mine when I went to the bathroom! He is leaving his rookie ways behind him :(
The last savory dish was the branzino "a cqua pazza" with black olives, tomato, and mixed seafood. The branzino was nicely cooked and flaky, but the best part of the dish was the mixed seafood which had a very good flavor.
We ended our meal with the bread banana pudding with butterscotch and walnuts. It is served with ricotta cheese with bitter chocolate, which I didn't like much because I like my desserts sweet. The bread pudding was delicious along with the butterscotch and had bitter chocolate in the middle for a fun surprise half way through :)
The other dessert was the tiramisu with chocolate crumble and expresso granita. It was a beautiful dessert served in a mason jar. The tiramisu was creamy and sweet with delicious layers of chocolate crumble. The granita tasted exactly like expresso which made this dessert a huge hit.
Congratulations to the Pubbelly family for this wonderful addition. We are looking forward to your steakhouse
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