Camerini is lovli
Last night I started my mission to try all the family-run italian restaurants mentioned in this tread:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... and wow, did Camerini ever set the bar high -- thank you to the chown'der who recommended it! The restaurant and the food reminded us of some best meals we had in Italy -- an unpretentious, cozy space, with un-fusion, un-nouvel, totally cozy, fabulous food.
The honey and I started with Cesar salad -- very old school eggy and anchovy, not so much with the cheese -- and grilled calamari--charred and tender, not rubbery. Next the honey had a beautiful mushroom cream fettuccine that was earthy and mushroomy, and not very creamy -- gorgeous. I had the briaciole (sp?) a thin slice of veal wrapped around a cheese and ground meat stuffing that's braised in tomato sauce and served with spaghetti in the same sauce; it was also gorgeous. I didn't think I'd be able to finish it, but for once my stomach was bigger than my eyes, and there wasn't even a whiff of it left when I was done. With dinner we had a very nice primitivo red wine that wasn't on the wine list, but that was recommended by the chef. The total bill was $111 and worth every penny.
Last night there were only three tables going in the restaurant, but apparently they are busy on weekends, so they suggest that you call to reserve. And the honey and I will definitely be taking up table space regularly in the future...
709 Mount Pleasant Road
May I suggest Rossini's Ristorante. Im not sure if its family run but it was recently taken over by Chef Sergio Zanetti(sp?). we went there for my graduation lunch, as well as my grandmothers 80th bday dinner. both occassions were excellent. the menu is a bit old school, but thats what the clientele before was used to. Chef Sergio's signature dish (its not on the menu yet, but always available) is the LOBSTER GNOCCHI!!! to die for...its the only thing that many people in my family order when we go there, and for good reason...just ask for it bc the servers may not tell you about it. its light, soft gnocchi, chunks of lobsters and a rose brandy sauce, served in a half lobster shell.
the bruschetta is excellent...believe it or not, bruschetta, although a simple dish, is very difficult to get right (quality of tomatoes, oil, amount of garlic etc) the calamari are always nicely crisp and fried well.
please let me know what you think if you try it!.
Rossini's on Avenue Road, north of Lawrence, South of the 401.
I'm always looking for another Italian place to try, and that gnocchi sounds awesome. Thanks for the tip -- I'll add it to the list and report back once we've tried it...