May 1, 2010

DaDo DaDo

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My friends keep talking about taking me back to Da Domenico for a meal, and it finally happened tonight.  They used to live upstairs when the restaurant first opened years ago, and got to know the staff well.  They were hoping to introduce me to the staff so that the service will be a little better than normal.  The poor service (or lack thereof) here has reached legendary status, but the regulars keep coming back on account of the food.

We ordered everything to share, which was great and frankly the right way to do it.

The burrata is always nice with arugula, and came with really ripe and sweet cherry tomatoes.  The cheese itself was so creamy and milky... really delicious with a drizzle of aged sweet balsamic vinegar.

The bruschetta was pretty awesome for something so simple.  You have again the ripe cherry tomatoes, arugula, and the warm bread has a bit of garlic sauce which was a little raw and spicy.

The mussels were incredibly fresh.  I'm a guy who never orders mussels, thanks to Kitchen Confidential.  But even I was happily downing these creamy and sweet mollusks, which are among some of the freshest I've had.

I wouldn't imagine leaving here without ordering the grilled scampi.  My last visit here was a revelation, and I really wanted to have these yummy things again.  Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed...  Yes, these were still pretty yummy in terms of flavor, and I happily used my hands and sucked out everything I could from each crevice.  But you know what?  The scampi wasn't really fresh.  The texture of the tail was a little mushy, and the claws were kinda liquid and runny.  They haven't exactly gone bad, but they're just not the freshest around.

Then came a pair of pastas...the fettucine vongola verace, the waiter's suggestion, was a little disappointing.  I thought the clams were OK, but it would have been better by itself instead of making it into pasta.  This paled in comparison to the other pasta dish.

I finally had a chance to try the linguine gamberi, made with gambero rosso.  The flavor was every bit as yummy as I full of the shellfish taste.  But once again, it was obvious to me that the prawns were not fresh.  My similar plate of pasta at Tuscany by H two days ago was better - and cheaper - with fresher prawns.

The waiter suggested peas, and what arrived didn't look too appetizing.  While they were really sweet to the taste, they were so plainly overcooked that they started to turn yellow.  I must admit that after peeling the skins off each pea two weeks ago, my standard for peas are even higher than before.

The veal liver was a good way to finish the meal.  Thinly sliced and pan-fried, it was simple yet delicious.

I brought a bottle of the 1997 Kistler Chardonnay Cuvée Cathleen.  This was very disappointing, as the wine was clearly too oxidized and over the hill.  Nose was sweet with notes of corn, but was way too ripe on the palate with the usual marmalade.  I guess Kistler  Chards just have their age limit...

I was pretty glad to have come back, and overall the food was pretty good.  But as I said to my friends... if I'm paying this kinda money at a restaurant with zero decor and service that is legendary poor, then I'd be pretty upset if the ingredients weren't the freshest that money can buy.  The food tonight definitely did not measure up to my high expectations.  I'll have another chance to return in a few weeks, so we'll see what happens...

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