Monday, March 14, 2011

Osteria Mozza

I finally made it to Osteria Mozza, after several attempts I made it.

It was a last minute decision and we were able to reserve a table for 5 at 5:15 on a Sunday. I was with a group of food lovers and we had just enjoyed ourselves at the Gold Standard Food event.

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We arrived as they opened at 5:00pm and seated immediately. The restaurant is nicely decorated and not too dim. It's nice, but also casual at the same time. Since we weren't starving we decided to order a few starters and entrees to share. We also order a few cocktails and a bottle of wine. Before our meal started, we were served an amuse of crostini with burrata, olive tapenade and julienned basil. It was a nice little bite.

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Our starters included Crispy Testina con salsa di gribiche, Grilled Octopus with potatoes, celery & lemon, Burricotta with radicchio, spiced walnuts, honey & fried rosemary and an arugula salad.

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The Crispy Testina was delicious, it was sort of a terrine of pork fried and served with a garlic aioli with fried capers and parsley. It was rich and salty, but perfect to be shared among five people.

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The grilled octopus was awesome, perfectly cooked and tender. The celery and lemon added a fresh bite. The dish was simple and very clean.

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Next up from the mozzarella bar, we had the burricotta. I've never had that before, it was very much like ricotta, much lighter and very mild. The grilled radicchio added a nice charred bitter note and the walnuts were sweet.

For our entrees we ordered a nice selection of pastas. Squid Ink Chitarra Freddi with Dungeness crab, sea urchin & jalapeno, Ricotta Gnudi with garlic and parsely, Ricotta & Egg Raviolo with browned butter and Fiorentini with guanciale, tomato & spicy pickled peppers. Each dish had a different flavor profile and base sauce.

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The squid ink pasta was a cold dish and the urchin added a really nice sweetness. I thought the squid ink was very subtle and I missed the brinyness of it.

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The gnudi were so tender and light. The simplicity of the dish really shined, each ingredient stood out on it's own and combined they were harmoniess.

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The ravioli with ricotta and egg was the highlight of the night. As you cut into the plate sized ravioli, the egg yolk oozed out and mixed with the delicious brown butter. It was so decadant, so delicious.

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The last dish was the Fiorentini with guanciale, tomato & spicy pickled peppers had the most familiar Italian flavors. With a tomato based sauce, the pasta cooked al dente. The guanciale was diced into small pieces and the spicy peppers weren't that spicy. But the dish was good.

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Desserts and digestifs were next, but I was up to my eyeballs with food. My friends ordered some Grappa, Madiera, some cannolis filled with ice cream and the Torta della Nonna. Was told everything was delicious.

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I was pleased and excited to have finally experienced Osteria Mozza. The food was good and the ambience was nice. The service was attentive and informed. I am looking forward to my next visit.

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