April 16, 2012

Double trouble

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At the end of a very long and hectic day, I met up with a few old friends for dinner.  Since we weren't able to secure a table at Lupa - despite the fact that the reservation request was made by my friend Susan - Doppio Zero became our backup.  I had a quick lunch here back in November, and it was good to have an opportunity to check out the place again.

I was pretty disappointed when I stepped foot into the restaurant.  The place was completely dark - especially the area where we were.  I had carried around my SLR in my work bag all day, which was a pretty heavy load.  So now it had all been for naught…  Sigh.

We decided to share a few starters, and then I ordered two primis.  The menu advised us that the primis were not large enough to be taken as mains, and suggested anyone thinking of doing so to upgrade to a bigger portion.  To some of us, that opened the possibility of having two regular-sized primis.

Crispy sweetbreads, spiced carrot sauce, Gorgonzola - little bite-sized pieces, or at most 2 bites.  Interesting use of Gorgonzola.

Grilled honeycomb tripe, testa croutons, blood orange, Pecorino mint pesto - the tripe came in rather thin strips, and the combination of the sauce, fennel and orange wedges was interesting.  The best part of the dish, though, turned out to be the "croutons" made with testa.  Of course at this point, I had to remind Susan that "testa" in Italian meant "head" and not "testes"…  Deep-fried cubes of head cheese will always have room in my stomach…

The first primi arrived, and the portion was definitely a lot bigger than the restaurant had suggested.  I would be perfectly happy having something this size just for lunch.

Spaghettini, bottarga, razor clams, orange zest, toasted bread crumbs - I'm sooo predictable… Bottarga is one of my buttons, and there was never any question about ordering this one.  I loved it.  The pasta was done just right in terms of texture.  Bottarga was, of course, yummy and a little on the salty side.  Razor clams were tasty.  The blend of parsley, chili, garlic and orange was pretty interesting, and I thought they worked well together.  My bowl was empty in no time, and I'd definitely order this again.

Spaghetti neri, baby cuttlefish, Thai chilies, scallion, tomato - slightly disappointed that the Thai chilies didn't have more of a presence.  Otherwise this was pretty good - acidity from the tomatoes, crunchy bits of cuttlefish…  The pasta wasn't spaghetti, but I wasn't complaining…

Two primis were definitely a little too much for me, and there was simply no room for dessert.  We called it a night, and I left the place very satisfied.  I saw at least 5 or 6 primis that I really wanted to try, and only had 2 tonight, so I'm eagerly looking forward to my next visit… during the day when there's enough light for a decent picture.

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