Friday, January 29, 2010

Restaurant Week: Dell'anima Review

There are so many different reasons to settle on a particular place for a Restaurant Week meal.  Dell'anima had never before participated and it was a restaurant that had been on my list of places to try for a long time. But any time I've thought of it and checked for reservations it was always booked. So, this seemed like a great opportunity to check out this West Village nook. After eating at this charming little restaurant that had only 10 tables, I now see why reservations were hard to come by.

Lunch was a delightful experience, the cute room was quiet and not overcrowded with tables, making for a comfortable and relaxing meal. The RW menu hadn't been posted online, so it was a gamble, knowing that some restaurants make their RW offerings boring or limited. Dell'anima offered only two choices for each course, but in this case, with only two of us dining, I was happy because it meant that we could try everything on the menu. The portions were hearty and perfect for sharing. And while the main subject of each dish may have sounded boring on its face, Dell'anima found ways to dress them all up beautifully.

Charred octopus, rice beans, chorizo, chicory

Beet salad, pistachio, tarragon, lime, caramelized yogurt

Garganelli, funghi trifolati, lemon, parsley

Pollo "al diavolo" broccoli rabe, garlic, chilies

Espresso-rum almond cake, caramel sauce, sea salt gelato

Pistachio gelato

Now, I'm going to let my dining companion's evaluation speak for me as well because we essentially agreed on everything:

"I enjoyed both appetizers a lot. I really liked the pistachios with the beets (and I would definitely make that at home). And I also really enjoyed the octopus. The texture and flavor were perfect. I thought that the pasta was quite good — the pasta itself had a great texture and the dish overall had a nice balance with the mushrooms. I also enjoyed the chicken. It was super tender and the hind of heat in the sauce was good. I think that if I had the entire chicken dish though, the texture of the chicken would eventually get to me. I wish that there were some additional crunchy salad greens, or some other hard/crunchy texture that could have been added. But I liked it.

"However, I wasn't thrilled about the desserts. I usually like caramel with salt, but it was too salty. There was also not enough espresso flavor or enough rum flavor in the cake for me. And I didn't love the cake texture itself. From the description, I would have thought it would be denser, with a primarily rum or espresso flavor. I felt like it sort of half-assed both flavors a bit. And while your pistachio gelato was good, I've had better.

"Despite some of the negatives I mentioned, I liked the place overall. I thought the flavors were rather inventive, and I would go back and try some other dishes. I may pass on the desserts though."

So with that we had a happy introduction to Dell'anima and I can say I hope to get to know it better in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment