Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Alexandria's LAPORTA's is lacking, yet has potential (5-5-13)

Sunday night we had an early concert in Alexandria, Virginia, so we headed to Laporta's (http://www.laportas.net/) just west of Old Town on Duke Street and discovered a little area we had never really noticed before. The free parking lot is a nice touch and when we entered we were told that a special Cinco de Mayo combo was scheduled to entertain in about an hour, which was another plus.
The first banquette table we sat at was freezing, due to the a/c vents overhead. I guess even though it was 60 degrees outside, they were worried that it would get warm once the place filled up, and it did just as we left, but we were the lone diners at 5pm!
We moved tables and ordered a nice bottle of LODALI Barbaresco 2009 (no vintages were indicated on the menu) which did warm us up a bit. Samuel had his requisite Coke and ordered the Chicken Fingers and fries as he did not seem interested in most of the pasta or meat dishes.
Superb warm onion rolls and other bread arrived, but our pleasant server Robin never told us what they were. Samuel downed a gulp of the onion roll and promptly grabbed a plain one!
Will and I decided to split the appetizer of GRILLED PORTABELLE MUSHROOM with Asparagus, Goat Cheese, Roasted Poblano Puree and Greens. It was very tasted but masked with melted Parmesan that was unnecessary with the goat cheese. At $14.50 it seemed a bit pricey, but maybe I am not aware of the higher prices in this area.
The main course that both Will & I chose was a superb Seared PORK SCHNITZEL with Parmesan, Garlic, Lemon, Butter and a delicious White Wine Sauce with a puddle of Pesto that I didn't even notice until much later on as the portion was so large and covered it. Samuel tasted this and regretted that he had not chosen this excellent dish as well. Again at $26.50, I felt I could have been at a much higher quality restaurant. To boot, the plain tables, chairs and decor are indeed not real exciting (although the maƮtre d' said a renovation was coming soon),
A superb pianist began to play Chopin, so we hung around until the Latin combo started and then left after two numbers which were okay. The place was filling up, so maybe the regulars know something we don't, or just like the entertainment, as while the food is not bad, it is a bit on the high priced end, as are the wines!