Having been to Rizzuto’s in Westport, I knew to expect simple ingredients in classic presentation.
I again ordered the vegetable antipasto ($4.95 each, or the bargain of $14.95 for all seven). It included chickpea puree (hummus) with toasted pine nuts and peperonata; Sicilian eggplant caponata; Mediterranean olives with orange zest and seasoned with thyme; farro salad with finely diced artichokes, olives and mushrooms; roasted cauliflower with pistachios, preserved lemons and currants; roasted frying peppers, garlic, rosemary and aged provolone; and — the only disappointment — the artichoke hearts, that the menu described as grilled with lemon and olive oil, but were flavorless. All were served with fresh crunchy oven-fired flatbread. Delicious with a bottle of Barbera d’ Alba, Damilano, Piedmont ($34) from the “Medium Bodied and Soft” part of the wine list.
My dining companion enjoyed a perfectly cooked pan-roasted wild striped bass with roasted red peppers, asparagus, potatoes and cipollini onions in a tomato vinaigrette. And — having enjoyed the Pappardelle Bolognese ($18.95) — I ordered the rustic tomato-meat (beef, veal, pork) ragu again. This time it was finished by topping it with fresh ricotta.
If you still have a bit or room for dessert, I suggest an order of chocolate pistachio dipped cannolis with chocolate chip cream filling ($6.95 for two).
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