Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back To Lattanzi (Now with Photos)

I was back the city last night with tickets to see Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy (a show I can only describe as an acrobatic Lion King on acid). We went to our new pre-theater standby of Lattanzi. Once more it did not disappoint.

We sat in the back room this time, which made me very happy. You pass through a stone arch with French doors into a room with terracotta tiles on the floor, warm yellow walls, plenty of greenery, and a skylight for a ceiling. It's like an Italian courtyard (not that I would really know what an Italian courtyard looks like since I haven't been to Italy since 1985, but that's a whole other story). This picture really doesn't capture it, but it's the best I could do.

Dinner began with wine and some decent bread, and then we got our appetizers. Kevin was a good boy and opted for the salad. I went for one of the specials of the day. I had homemade mozzarella with roasted peppers. It was flavored with garlic, basil, and thin slices of red onion (good thing I had no kissing planned for the next couple of hours). (Sorry if the photo is out of focus. I'm still getting the hang of the auto focus on my camera.)

Mozzarella was yummy. It had just enough saltiness to it. Dishes like this with peppers or tomatoes or prosciutto (or all three) are really one of my favorite things in the world.

Entree was a lamb shank with risotto. The lamb was tasty, but not extraordinary. I liked it, but it wasn't any better than similar dishes I've had at other restaurants. This isn't a bad thing. I'm just saying it wasn't exceptional, just very good.

The ristotto wasn't terribly risotto-y. The liquid, as you can probably see here, is rather watery, rather than creamy. This seemed to be prepared by a lazy chef. Rice was just this side of too al dente. However, it was wonderfully flavored. I feared it might be salty, but it was perfect and there was a flavor of beef and mushrooms that really complemented the lamb. I'd say 9 points for taste and 6 for consistency.

My panna cotta dessert was divine. It was nice and firm (I wish I could get my own panna cotta to firm up this nicely), wonderfully rich, and didn't have any tartness to it. (I am so not into tart, creamy desserts. Creamy desserts should be sweet and only sweet in my book.)

I wish I had taken a photo of Kevin's tartufo. The tartufi at Lattanzi are not like those cheap chocolate balls you get at your neighborhood red sauce place. They are HUGE and covered in a thick layer of chocolate and nuts with excellent ice cream inside.

Service was up to standard. They were very quick with everything as they always are with the pre-theater crowd. We had plenty of time to walk the eight blocks to the theater. Our waiter was pleasant, but a little absent-minded at times. He almost forgot to tell us the specials (which would have been sad considering my appetizer and entree were both specials). He also said that the special dessert of the evening was "canolis". I resisted the urge to pipe up and say, "The word 'canoli' is ALREADY PLURAL."

Lattanzi will definitely continue to be our favorite pre-theater restaurant.


Darius T. Williams said...

Great review know...I've never had panna looks good though.


Srivalli said...

Nice to read abt it!..yeah though your pictures were little out of focus, they do look yummy!..

noble pig said...

Wow, sounds and looks delicious!

Lo said...

Looks like a great night out to me! Thanks for sharing... I always forget my camera when we're dining out, so kudos to you for bringing!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Darius - For Panna cotta is great as long as it's made with just cream. I don't like it when people add yogurt to it. I tried to top a black bottom pie with it once and the experiment didn't work out too well.

Lo - I usually forget my camera too, but it really annoys my husband when I take food photos. He's terrified it will annoy other diners.