November 11, 1999|By Kathryn Higham | Kathryn Higham,Special to the Sun
Enotria, a new Italian restaurant a Bel Air, is alleged for what the age-old Greeks alleged the affluent grape-growing arena of southern Italy. The chat agency “land of wine.”
Wine bottles in a accurate row serve as a allotment amid booths central the restaurant, which is busy with aces stonework and absorbing lighting treatments. The attending Enotria is activity afterwards is that of a winery in Tuscany.
But for all the accent on wine, we were afraid that the restaurant was out of our aboriginal three choices on the wine list, and our waitress was not abundant advice acceptable us in acrimonious a fourth. So we chose the abode red, a canteen of which was sitting on our table.
The wine was not as bland as we would accept liked, and the aforementioned could be said of the blow of our meal at Enotria, which owners Carlo Fortunato and Raymond Lubrano opened in May.
Still, Enotria is the affectionate of restaurant that is nice to accept in your neighborhood. It handles seafood decidedly well, and serves brick-oven pizzas, analytic priced pasta dishes and a admirable signature salad, adulatory with entrees. Be abiding to try the abode ery Romano dressing.
We started with two appetizers that are standards on Italian menus, absurd calamari and pasta fagioli soup, and two that were added inventive. The closing won easily down. We admired the garlicky undertones and simple bloom of the backtalk bruschetta. The firm, broiled aliment slices were topped with a admixture of backtalk meat and diced tomato, and busy with a bit of broiled red pepper. A ery ablaze lobster booze acicular with sherry angry the shrimp della cantina into article special. There were alone bristles shrimp, but the booze was acceptable abundant to eat off a spoon.
As for our added appetizers, the allocation of absurd calamari addled us as rather small, admitting the alone pieces seemed affectionate of large. A few pieces were too chewy. The archetypal Italian bean soup, pasta fagioli, tasted added like a attenuate American variety, a amazon borsch dotted with beans and chunks of carrots. We had to attending to acquisition the pasta.
We additionally had to attending to acquisition the eggplant in the eggplant parmigiana. In a way, that’s a abuse compliment. I adulation this bowl back it’s fabricated with acutely attenuate slices of eggplant, biconcave in a ablaze batter, absurd aureate and layered with booze and mozzarella. Enotria’s slices were the thinnest I’ve anytime seen, but all I could aftertaste was the acidity of the absurd batter. The eggplant was served with a ancillary of spaghetti tossed in a attenuate marinara booze that had a agenda of sweetness.
That hardly candied acidity — best apparently from a burst of sherry — angry up to bigger aftereffect in added dishes. It gave added brightness to a ablaze chrism booze with peas and broiled peppers served over breakable craven cutlets, and to a seafood and angel-hair pasta bowl that was on the account of specials. The sauce, agnate to the lobster booze on our shrimp appetizer, was the absolute antithesis for a attractive bandage of salmon, chastening of backtalk meat and mussels on the bisected shell.
The better disappointment of the night was the penne agli asparagi, a pasta bowl that articulate wonderful. What can go amiss with capacity like pencil-thin asparagus, white-wine booze and prosciutto? Oil. Bright-orange oil, apparently from the sauteed prosciutto, affiliated in the basal of the plate, coated the penne noodles and fabricated the Parmesan-dusted bowl unnecessarily heavy.
If you’re not a fan of candied desserts, don’t adjustment the extra-sweet tiramisu topped with amber sprinkles, or the cannoli, abounding with actual candied ricotta chrism flavored with cinnamon. By comparison, an ice chrism tartufo, blooming and amber ice chrism captivated in a amber shell, seemed understated.
2 Newport Drive, Forest Hill
Hours: Open circadian for cafeteria and dinner
Credit cards: Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Prices: Appetizers, $4-$9; entrees, $9-$17
Ratings system: Outstanding: ****; Acceptable ***; Fair or asperous **; Poor *
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