Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Beppe Review and Camera Struggles

I tried to post the pictures from my new camera this morning and was able to download them but then couldn't get them onto blogger. Grrrr.

My frustration is mellowed with the delicious muffin, (corn or polenta I think) I am eating right now courtesy of Beppe Restaurant on 22nd between Park and Madison.

I was treated to a lovely dinner there last night. It had been on my list of places to try as Tuscan food is high up there on favorites.

The reviews I've read suggest that people either love or hate this restaurant. My opinion falls just a hair slight of "love" and lands in the "I REALLY, REALLY like" category.

For starters, we split the CRESPELLE, a chestnut crepe filled with stewed duck and black trumpet mushrooms. This has to be one of my favorite appetizers of all time. There were hints of truffle, and "stewed duck" was an understatement - it tasted like it had been slow cooked for ages and then just a little more for good measure, and the mushrooms had the perfect amount of bite.

For the next course we split the NORCINO, butcher’s spaghetti with crumbled pork, garlic, Chianti, rosemary, and tomato. Again, this didn't disappoint. It was basically a ragu, and the spaghetti was thinner and more delicate then I expected, a pleasant surprise. Though a bit on the salty side, I would definitely order this again.

On to the entrees, I had the PESCATRICE, Pancetta wrapped monkfish medallions with beets and mixed local potatoes. I didn't love this. The beets were good, but it is hard to screw up beets. The fish was just bland. Not much too it for me. Luckily I was pretty stuffed from the first two dishes.

My dining companion had the GAMBERONI, spicy large shrimp with blood orange, fennel, and puntarelle salad. This was very good. The shrimp was nicely grilled and definitely spicy. I think she had the perfect meal with this one.

Oh, I almost forgot, we split the special fries which I had read about. I could recommend this restaurant for the fries alone. Not only were they perfectly crispy, but they were loaded with flash fried herbs. They begged for a delicious burger topped with Roquefort cheese...but that's another meal.

No room for dessert, but the espresso was very good.

Of course, the Beppe experience is topped off this morning with the muffin I referenced above. A great touch when a restaurant sends you home with a treat.

So, if not for the monkfish and the slight saltiness of the pasta, I would have said that I loved this restaurant - but hey, it is Valentine's Day so maybe I will forgive these shortcomings and drop the L bomb on Beppe.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Anyone have special plans?

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