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Friday, October 16, 2009

Doggy Bag: She Said, She Said

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 6:09 PM

click to enlarge doggybag.jpg
Our favorite morsel from the blogs.

Double in the bubble: Unbeknownst to the other, 7x7's Sara Deseran and Jessica Battilana made separate rezzies at SPQR. They went, they ate, they wrote. Only instead of merging both reviews or scrapping one, they opted to publish side by side at Bits + Bites. It's a "Don't You Want Me" double-take on the Pac Heights osteria that, judging from both descriptions, might no longer be eligible for the term. Instead of dishes with Appleman's muscle, new chef Matthew Accarrino's radiate overthinking. And overplating. Here's Deseran:

Some things remain: The great, Italian wine list is still overseen by the always charming and sweet Shelly Lindgren. And yes, you can still get housemade pasta; but instead of the spaghetti carbonara (which the old SPQR had nailed) being a delicious heart-attack, now the dish is served with a quivering poached egg on top that doesn't bind with the perfectly-made pasta once it's mixed in, leaving an eggy soup in its wake.
And Battilana:
Though the menu still lists house-made pasta (and the list still includes carbonara and rigatoni amatriciana), the one I sampled, a kuri squash-and-prune tortellini with brown bread crumbs, was too sweet, the pasta too thick, the plate too refined. It looked fussy; it tasted like dessert. Main courses, so elegantly plated and beautiful to behold, also seemed overwrought--lamb shoulder braised into submission then molded into a disk, skate cheeks fried hard in butter and then set, just so, on the plate. There was no foam, but there could have been.
Uh-oh, shit's looking bad. Times two.

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