March 28, 2010 La Morra
I apologize in advance for the poor picture quality. Dim lighting paired with poor camera phone equals bad pictures.
We arrive and they are participating in restaurant week. The regularly offer a ‘prezzo fisso’ menu that is four courses for $35. Three of us order the restaurant week menu and one orders a la carte (me). They are offering four courses, a salad/soup, a pasta, a meat and a dessert course. There are a number of options on the menu that are an additional $5.
There are two floors: the bottom is a bit noisier and there is a small bar in the back, and upstairs is quieter. The restaurant is dimly lit and its exposed brick walls give the place a warm feeling. I assume that because it is a weekend night and because it’s restaurant week, it’s super crowded. We had a reservation but had to wait for a table. The seats upstairs were tight, no one likes to squeeze in between tables and have your rear end in the dinners of the table next to you.
Three of us order the shrimp salad. You can’t see it very well, but I’ll tell you what it is. Shrimp, celery, fennel, pistachio and blood oranges. The three shrimp are quite large and are served cold. The fennel has a peppery licorice taste to it, and has a nice crisp bite. I think that the salad would have been great just with the shrimp and fennel-the blood oranges and pistachios didn’t add much in my book. The other salad was the arugula with shaved artichokes and parmigiano reggiano. They deliver the bread by the slice to the table with a lovely ricotta spread and some marinated mushrooms.
The next course (not pictured) is the primi course. Two order the chestnut ravioli in parmigiano brodo with aged balsamic. It’s pasta, but it has a sweet taste to it. Good-but I wouldn’t crave it. The other choice was linguine with steamed clams and lardo. (Lardo is a cured pork fat product) Amazing. It looks more generous than the 4 raviolis….a great sauce, perfectly al dente pasta-could have eaten it as my main meal.
While everyone else gets their secondi course, I get the bolognese. This is my favorite dish here by far (I get it every time I come here). The pasta is home made and you wish you could just swim in it, it’s that good. The bolognese has a great flavor to it, and it’s made with short ribs. The pasta and the sauce pair together wonderfully. The others get the wood grilled hanger steak with yukon gold mashed potatoes, cipollini modenese and a chianti sauce and the brisket with mashed sweet potatoes. Let’s start with the hanger steak. It’s cut into small pieces and is quite juicy. The meal itself is a bit on the cool side, but they have to walk all the meals up the stairs from the kitchen one floor below (after being a server myself, I can appreciate the workout they must get). The brisket could have been better-the real star of the dish was the sweet potato mash, it was gone in seconds!
For dessert we ordered the flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake with whipped cream and praline, the Tuscan apple crostada and vanilla caramel gelato and the sorbet trio fruit sorbets with biscotti and berries. The cake was delicious, cold thick chocolate inside a hard chocolate shell. The cake is dense, but at the same time, tastes light as air. The apple crostada comes warm-it was tasty but nothing to write home about. The sorbet trio was passion fruit, blueberry and cherry. A great way to end the meal and cleanse the palette.
48 Boylston Street Brookline MA 617 739 0007
Monday to Wednesday: 5:30 to 10:00 pm
Thursday: 5 to 10:30 pm/ Late Night Menu: 10:30 to 11 pm
Friday and Saturday: 5 to 11:00 pm/Late Night Menu: 11 to 11:30 pm
Sunday Dinner: 5:00 to 9:00 pm
Valet parking available.