Restaurants »Centro Vinoteca

centro vinoteca wild boar ragu Centro Vinoteca is the sleek, sunny two story corner Italian restaurant from Mario Batali's right hand woman on the Iron Chef, Anne Burrell. I was excited to go here after a weekend day of work (yuck) as a bit of a treat and the overall experiences was quite delightful.

I absolutely loved the d?cor, and particularly the large mirror and the bathroom, an element I rarely notice or care much about in a restaurant, but this one was that good. The interior toes the line between simple, almost rustic d?cor and super polished, take a wealthy old person here fanciness. We ate upstairs, where there actually were lots of wealthy old people, quite early, at 5:30 so the sun was spilling in and the menu was looking really tasty.

We began by sharing a few small plates, or piccolini – They're like small appetizers, just large enough for four people to get a taste. All these plates sounded amazing, but we limited ourselves to the white marinated anchovies, the chicken liver pate, and the truffled deviled eggs. Whoo hoo! These were all excellent. I could see myself coming here ordering exclusively from this menu for cocktails in the less formal downstairs. I would recommend all three of the ones we got.

My mojito which had a refreshing splash of prosecco was yummy and there's a small selection of beer and a wide selection of wines. Shaun was happy with his cortino, so I assume they have some fine ones.

Next came the entrees and here is where the meal got a bit controversial. Shaun enjoyed his very buttery Yukon ravioli and his fresh beet salad and Mike and I liked our boar ragu with crispy gnocci, though I did feel that with such a strong consistent flavor it could have benefited from a bit of variety. It's not a huge dish, but I had Jim finish mine because I had had my fill of rich gamy meat sauce and fried pasta.

The big disappointment was Jim's main, a rabbit and sausage dish that was curiously fatty and bland. Bummer. But the place got back on track with dessert. The taralucci, which?our waitress called “heaven on a plate” was just that. I usually am not one for hard cookies, but these crumbly Italian sweets were unreal, paired with a dipping sauce of salty caramel, I am telling you, “heaven on a plate”- for real.

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Posted on April 14, 2008

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