Restaurant Week Adventure #2
I have never been to Tresca before & I’m always excited to try a new restaurant. I told the hostess I was here for the Raffa party of 4, for a 7pm reservation. She was having trouble finding me in their system, so I told her (with a bit of annoyance in my voice) that I could certainly find the email confirmation if necessary. I’m beginning to panic, but she eventually found my cell # somewhere and lead us to our table right by the open windows looking out onto Hanover Street. I make a comment about how I like the hard cover brass menu and our friend Mike looks down at it only to notice the name on the front: “Bricco” – umm, this is awkward… we all look at each other in shock/amusement that we’re complete idiots 🙂 We slowly get up, I tell the hostess how embarrassed I am, and we slip out and over to Tresca, the next door over. Best part is, I’ve been to Bricco before and my first thought upon entering “Tresca” was that it looked an awful lot like Bricco, which seemed strange to me. We were so focused on food we apparently didn’t care which restaurant we went to! Yeah.. so.. anyways…
Bread: Three different types came in the iron basket: a flaky thin piece, a long bread stick, and a sliced white Italian loaf, all accompanied by a small dish of EVOO. The Italian white bread was one of the best I’ve tasted – doughy, with a little sprinkle of salt on the top crust.
Menu: This Restaurant Week menu was different in the fact that the 3 courses it offered was an Antipasti, Pasta Fatta a Mano (a primi size of handmade pasta), and a Piatti Principali (main entree). I was a little disappointed that there was no dessert, but with Mike’s Pastry right down the street I knew I’d get my sweets by the end of the night. I had no trouble choosing my 3 courses:
- Caesar con Tartufi
- Gnocci Bolognese – traditional style veal & pork ragout enriched with pancetta & tomatoes
- Pollo Romano – grilled, marinated chicken breast cutlet topped with arugula & grilled vegetables, served with creamy corn & sage polenta
Presentation: The Caesar came with chucks of shaved parm, my favorite! A white truffle (or mushroom) replaced the typical anchovie based Caesar dressing. I’m not a huge fan of ‘shrooms, but I was a fan of this salad – perfect amount of dressing, not too creamy or heavy, just enough so you get that Caesar taste. The gnocci was excellent, topped with shaved parm (perfect!). The word that came to mind after my 1st bite was “delicate” – the sauce was light but hearty at the same time, which was perfect. The chicken, topped with the arugula and sweet grilled onions, came next to a generous portion of polenta. I hardly ever order chicken at a restaurant b/c I cook it often – I have the same sentiments towards chicken as I do towards vanilla ice cream: a) it’s a waste of time, b) there’s always a better option. The dish was good, loved the corn in the polenta (my motivatoin to order the dish), but I was too full to clean the plate.
Bathroom: A one stall bathroom with a rustic yet modern decor. An old school faucet poured into a beautiful brass bowl. The two styles mixed well.
Wait Staff: I found it a bit odd that we had to ask for the Restaurant Week menu. No big deal, but hello, that’s why I’m here! 🙂 Our waiter was animated & friendly, and urged us to return to try Tresca’s daily menu. Also, our water glasses were never less than 1/2 full – points to the bus boys for water attentiveness!
Overall: The bread was faaaantastic and I really enjoyed the pasta. The waiter was engaging, encouraged us to return, and I think I’ll do just that! Next time I hope to sit downstairs in one of their whimsical booths looking out onto Hanover, rather than in the quieter upstairs dining room.
The Perfect Bite: The bolognese sauce had such great balance with the amount of meat & tomatoes, and the gnocci was light despite being a full pasta. Another bolognese well done!