Saturday, October 9, 2010

Restaurants: Locanda Vini e Olii

Matt and I didn’t feel like wandering too far for dinner last night, so we checked out a little Italian restaurant called Locando Vini e Olii a couple of blocks from his apartment. The restaurant seemed full, but we were able to get a table in about 10 minutes without a reservation.

When we sat down, we were given 3 wine bottles that were actually the wine lists: a little kitschy, but fun.

We were immediately given some delicious homemade bread and a lettuce pesto. It looked like an Italian salsa verde, but tasted like a mixed green salad. That description probably doesn’t sound appetizing, but it was actually refreshing and tasty.

We got the Crostini Plate for appetizer, which had four different types: classic Tuscan, zucchini/anchovy, swiss chard, and tomato/basil. The classic Tuscan was topped with a creamy chicken liver spread. If you’re wary of chicken liver, I highly recommend you give it a try. It’s rich, earthy, and a little bit sweet all at the same time. The rest of the crostinis were good, but that one was the stand out for me.

We both ordered pastas for our main dishes because they're all made in house. I got the Chestnut Lasagnette with Chick peas and Luganega. Luganega is an Italian pork sausage that is seasoned with nutmeg, coriander, pepper, and cinnamon. The pasta had kind of a strange texture, almost like whole wheat pasta, but had a great nutty flavor from the chestnuts. I also didn’t think the dish looked very pretty, but it tasted like fall and I couldn’t stop eating it.

Matt ordered the Thyme Maltagliati with Golden Chanterelles and Nepitella. He loved it, and I kept sneaking bites. Maltagliati means "badly cut," so this pasta shape is typically made from scraps of pasta. Nepitella is an Italian herb that the waitress described as a cross between mint and oregano. That and the thyme were incorporated into the pasta dough, and the wide noodles were tossed with some olive oil and chanterelles.

This is a great little neighborhood place that has very solid food. I’d love to come back and try more of their menu.

Locanda Vini e Olii
129 Gates Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Locanda Vini & Olii on Urbanspoon

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