Saturday, September 17, 2016

another doozy of a dinner from Chef Donna at AL DENTE (9-16-16)

It has been too long since we visited Al Dente just around the corner and last night we returned for a tasting menu which we had purchased at a charity event, making it a double treat.
Getting ready for our next summer trip to Italy and Sicily, we ordered a Grillo 2013 "Aquilae" from Viticulroti Associati Canicatti which had us thinking about where we will go for wine tastings; so many choices.
Our red was a superb Cannonau di Sardegna(Sardinia) Fiori DOC Pala 2014 which our server Nick recommended and he hit is just right by explaining the wine has the mouth of a Pinot Noir, but with a spicy finish; we loved it.
Our amuse was a Prosciutto wrapped Roasted Date with gooey Gorgonzola Cheese running all over--YUM! The Grillo was ideal with the richness of this small bite(s).
It's mid-September and Soft Shell Crabs are heading our of season so we may have had our last one yesterday which was superbly tempura fried with an awesome Celery Root Slaw, Fried Lemon and remoulade for dipping. I will miss these little guys until next May! Photos are always on FB!!
A perfectly Grilled & Seared Sea Scallop was topped with frisee & mache and served on a slash of Salsa Verde that had us finishing off our white and moving on to the red.
Our first pasta was Rigatoni with Pancetta in a Cream Sauce topped with Fried Leeks which was rich but superb and who doesn't love those leeks!
The second pasta was so simple yet so complex it was brilliant: Ravioli stuffed with Burrata in a Red Pepper Puree with Paprika and Pesto.
Third was Gnocchi with a spicy Sausage Ragu and by now it was impossible to have a favorite as all three of these pastas were truly some of the best you can find anywhere.
We begged to move on to our main course as we were getting full and it was a perfectly sized Braised LAmb Rib with Eggplant Puree again in a superbly spiced Red Wine sauce with more of the delectable fried leeks.
It was nice to have Chef Roberto braving the spices, here they seemed almost Middle-Eastern or North African, and really creating dishes with a whole different flavor than the Italian we are so used to.
The best dessert here is unquestionably the Fig Tart with Vanilla Gelato and an entire tart arrived which we took pieces of and packed the rest away for another day at home so we could remember this superb meal and quiet evening out in the 'hood.
Well, that was until we got home to Samuel and his 4 friends who were sleeping over!
Back to the diet after tonight's wedding.