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.
But what do you think?