Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Restaurant Review: Locanda Vini & Olii

I was recently asked to write about one of the most impressive meals I had ever had and though many a wonderful meal has followed it, few can top the over all impression I received from Locanda Vini & Olii.

Locanda Vini & Olii
29 Gates Ave
Brooklyn NY 11238

On countless occasions I have been disappointed by the overpriced, bare pasta dishes of Little Italy so I was apprehensive about getting my hopes high for yet another Italian restaurant in New York but when I heard this former pharmacy retained its apothecary decor and was minutes from my “up and coming” but “not nearly there” neighborhood, I had to give it a chance. To be honest I didn’t even get to study the decor in the foyer like in most restaurants because the owner welcomed my dinner party immediately (but not for lack of patrons), apparently I had been missing something and I was about to find out what.

As we sat in the middle of dark, rich wooded shelves laden with medicine bottles we were handed simple menus with well chosen yet unpretentious wines and the meal commenced. In retrospect, commenced is the correct word because once we started, we could not stop!
The Small Bites for Two, paired with prosecco filled our mouths with rich, earthy flavors with just the correct amount of variation. I salivate over the foie gras every time I think about it. The Smoked Prosciutto was mingled with the savory sweetness of apples and had a hint of mint that was simply genius and the Grilled Free Range Piedmontese Beef melted in my mouth. We topped off the meal with their Daily Assortment of Fresh Fruit which was just the amount of finishing flavor we needed to satiate ourselves. So much time has passed since that incredible meal that I regretfully admit that I can’t even recall the rest of what we ate, just that it was all delicious and left me feverishly delightful.

In the end, though the portions were somewhat dainty, it was the best Tuscan meal I had had since I left Florence and both I and my date were pleasantly full and unhindered to reel over the meal we had just experienced. It’s worth the trek but look it up on a map before you go if you’re not accustomed to the area!

Note about Pricing: Overall price for our meal was approx $130 + tip for two but we went all out and kept indulging and also had wine. You could easily spend less, especially since everything was delicious but being a combination of starving and frugal probably won't benefit you.

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