Bring your appetiteEat This! Thursday, May 12th, 2016
“Oh, he’s a cutie.”
“Pierce”, his biceps straining the seams of his T-shirt, was scrolling on his phone. “Grindr again?” I teased.
“No, the Humane Society’s webpage,” he replied. “I’m thinking about adopting a dog.” I had to admit the Staffordshire mix he admired flashed a heart-melting floppy-tongued grin.
We were seated in Il Postino, a large space with a predominantly industrial vibe – central black granite bar with glass and chrome shelves, over-sized leather furniture in the lounge, concrete block walls, exposed HVAC overhead. The name “Il Postino” is based on the title of a 1994 Italian film starring Massimo Troisi. Troisi died of a heart attack the day after filming was completed and was nominated posthumously for an Academy Award. A still of the film’s bike riding postman is recreated by a wall-sized metal chain curtain. Pretty cool.
Mario, our attentive knowledgeable server, presented the menus. A mini-loaf of warm freshly baked bread arrived with a side of tangy marinara sauce for dipping. Yum.
We began with cocktails. Pierce, swiping through other adoptable pets, sipped his Whiskey Sour and I, a Mandarin Madness ($10 each). The classic whiskey sour is tart, full-bodied and refreshing as expected. The Mandarin has good depth and is a satisfying blend of vodka and Tuaca – a vanilla-based liqueur, with muddled strawberries and oranges, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup. Sweet.
Pierce ordered the Gamberi e Fagioli al Rosmarino ($9.50) and I chose the Insalata d’Anatra ($9.25) for starters. The perfectly prepared butterflied shrimp are nested atop cannellini beans simmered in a rich broth of lobster and chicken stock, roasted garlic, fresh crushed Rosemary and extra virgin olive oil. Good to the last bite. Thin slices of chilled savory duck breast are served with earthy spinach greens, crunchy pine nuts, sweet raisins and smoky bacon crumbles tossed in a light lemony vinaigrette. The salad is well-balanced but I could do without so many spinach stems.
Our entrées were delivered steaming hot from the kitchen. Pierce enjoyed the Pappardelle with lamb ragout ($15.95), a salty blend of shredded meat, mushrooms and peas served in a zesty tomato sauce on house made noodles. The Pork Ossobuco ($23.95) is a fall-off-the-bone tender pork shank in a port wine reduction with mushrooms served over creamy buttery risotto. Rich, darkly sweet and savory. Be sure to bring your appetite because the portions are quite large.
I chose Enrique Foster 2010 IQUE Malbec ($7) to pair with the Pork Ossobuco; a very good Malbec from the renowned Luján de Cuyo vineyards of Argentina. The violet and ruby red pour presents a fruity bouquet on the nose, plum, blackberry and white pepper on the palate, with soft lush tannins in the lingering finish. Nice.
The dessert menu features tiramisu, strawberry Napoleon, raspberry cheese cake, and various fruit sorbets and gelatos, but we resisted the temptation and paid our tab. Truth is, we hadn’t room for another bite.
Pierce was happy with the large doggy bag. “I just wish I had a fur baby to share it with,” he said. “One day soon,” I replied.
Il Postino is open seven days a week. Hours vary. Eat this, hungry readers. You’ll be glad you did.
3959 30th Street
Monday to Saturday
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5-10 p.m. (Fri. and Sat. 11 p.m.)
Sunday: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
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