Sunday, October 15, 2006

an evening at EXTRA VIRGIN in Shirlington (10/15/06)

Last night we finally got back in the swing on things and made it to EXTRA VIRGIN ( in Shirlington (Arlington, VA) where we had wanted to go for some time and it was well worth the short journey, especially since we had theater tickets around the corner! AFter taking the server's white wine recommendation and finding it was sold out (I guess he forgot to check before offering), we made a second choice which was also sold out! Finally a bottle of WHITEHAVEN 2005 SAUVIGNON BLANC from Marlborough in New Zealand was available. This zesty, full of grapefruit wine is a great refresher and paris well with many of the starters as well. The GRILLED PORTOBELLO with Pesto Sauce is a large sauteed mushroom and a sizeable arugula salad and was extremely tasty and flavorful. The FIRE ROASTED SHRIMP are wrapped in PANCETTA, Wood Oven Roasted and served over an Arugola Salad with a Lemon Dressing as well (despite the fact that the menu reads Spinach; I guess it's a result of the e-coli thing!). This was a very large portion of FOUR HUGE shrimp and was a real tasty treat to boot.

I also must not fail to mention the excellent fresh bread which can be eaten with the olive oil on the table mixed with fresh parmesan and fresh cracked pepper served tableside. I could have filled up on this alone! We moved to an excellent red (first choice available) from Sardinia, CANTINA SANTADI Carignano Suleis, Grotta Rossa 2002 that had a bit of acidity typical to Carignane, but was superb with all the dishes we ordered.

The huge SAUTEED SALMON FILET Special was served with small Shrimp over a bed of Lentils making for a filling autumn entree, the TAGLIERINI alla BOLOGNESE is made with a rich meat sauce of veal, beef and pork that was also quite filling. My VEAL RAVIOLI with Fresh Sage was served in a Rich Veal Glace with Sage Butter Sauce that also could not resist mopping up. The only fault was the fact that the VEAL SALTIMBOCCA came out at about room temperature. We didn't have time to have it heated as we were running to the theater, but when four folks are dining together, the kitchen needs to be more cognizant of preparing each course in unison so they all arrive hot at the table.

After some yummy coffee we skipped dessert and ran off to our show. When Signature Theater moves across the street from EXTRA VIRGIN in January, I am sure we will return again!