Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Locanda Vini e Olii, Brooklyn

I must say, I claim to eat everywhere, but I've gotten to know only a handful of restaurants in my neighborhood of Clinton Hill during my 4 and a half years here. Frankly my dear, my kitchen is where the best food is in da 'hood, in my opinion. One night, My x Ben and I decided to meet for a dinner somewhere between his and my place, and Locanda Vini e Olii was always a place in the back of my head. It was a cold night after a snowstorm. As soon as you enter the storefront restaurant, which used to be a pharmacy with original furnishings still being used, there is an immediate warmth of hospitality. I see the bartender making a cocktail called Americano($8.50), Pietro Vergano's Grignolino "chinato", orange zest, and sparkling water, for Ben who got there a minute earlier; I ask for the same. It is as beautiful as it is delicious -though a "wine spritzer" with the price tag is questionable for the neighborhood. Regardless, a nice way to start any evening, of course in my mind, I'm going to serve a drink like this at my next party. The bartender is also our waiter -and I guess a host as well! Already, I am enjoying this welcoming, intimate, attentive service.

We ordered Daily Selection of Small Bites for Two($12), with 1/4 liter of Prosecco($20), came with bite sized vegetable frittata, egg plant rolled with something, cheese quiches, and ham sandwich; Charcuterie plate ($21). Not memorable. Sadly, I was not blown away by the food, as much as I was excited about everything else this place had to offer. For pasta, I ordered Saffron Guitar Strings($14) with fresh sardines, dill, raisins, and pine nuts and Ben's was Black pepper Cavatello with Porcini Mushrooms($14). Now, I would come here for pasta -may give meat dishes a try. Both pastas were made fresh, flavored well. Mine was a little bit overcooked, but I can understand it's a tricky dish to make perfectly. I was delighted by the atmosphere, but the star of the establishment was still questionable. I'll make a careful selection on my next visit, but definitely NOT charcuterie.

 Locanda Vini e Olii 129 Gates Ave Brooklyn, NY

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