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Dec 14, 2004 01:05 PM

Incanto report

  • r

Had another great meal at Incanto last night.


Bruschetta with garlic, sea salt, and olio nuovo ($7): really delicious, the smoky toast and coarse salt brought out the bite of the new oil.

Tuscan caramelized onion soup with olio nuovo ($7): great rich soup, sort of like a pureed version of French onion soup, minus the cheese.

Dish of olio nuovo ($5): overkill, there was plenty of extra oil in the bruschetta plate. But we ate it all anyway.


Couldn't decide so we ordered three, and then the chef brought out a fourth from the menu of the special amarone & Sfursat dinner in the back room.

Duck egg raviolo with ricotta and herbs in duck brodo ($10): brilliant. Each bite had a series of different flavors, like a great wine.

Fettuccine alla chitarra with fennel, currants, pine nuts, and anchovy ($10): yummy, nice balance of flavors and textures.

Chestnut pappardelle all'anatra (comp): great variation on a classic dish, adding chopped duck cracklings to the duck sugo was a nice touch.

Orechiette with rapini, garlic, chile flakes, and olio nuovo ($10): excellent rendition this simple classic dish.


Our waiter gave us a chance to back out of our entree orders but gluttony prevailed over common sense.

Calamari inziminio with lacinato kale and olio nuovo aioli (18): delicious soup/stew but I was too full to eat more than a few bites.

Braised fresh bacon with cannellini beans and garlicky erbette ($18): didn't even taste. I'll post an update if I get to the leftovers first.

Drank the last bottle of 2001 Zuc di Volpe refosco ($49) and three glasses of fancy red (~$15 each). Total bill before tip came to $205.

The owner stopped by and chatted for a while, said he and his wife are planning to move out of the upstairs apartment, maybe he'll use it to house visiting chefs.

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  1. Thanks for your report, Robert. I've had designs on going to Incanto since May, when we had to cancel reservations there for my bro's graduation dinner b/c plans had changed at the last minute!! Argh--my family didn't quite understand my disappointment...

    From your report, I am intent on making it there sometime soon. Everything sounded just to my liking. And your comment: 'Our waiter gave us a chance to back out of our entree orders but gluttony prevailed over common sense' said so much about the attitude and food there. Completely brought back memories of a relaxed, ultra-gluttonous meal I had at Lupa in NY in which I was full til about 4pm the next day...

    8 Replies
    1. re: Carb Lover
      Robert Lauriston

      I ate the leftover "bacon" last night. Unctuous pork belly with beans and greens, reminded me of my favorite kinds of main plates at Cafe Rouge. The leftover squid was also better than I was able to appreciate at the end of our pasta pigout.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Is Incanto an intimate place? Is it loud? How does it compare to Delfina in food and atmosphere?

        1. re: Geraldine
          Robert Lauriston

          To me, Delfina is bustling, brightly lit, and the tables are quite close together--atmosphere reminds me a bit of popular places in Paris like Le Dome.

          Incanto's far from the opposite, but the lighting's relatively subdued, it's a a bit quieter, and the tables are spaced farther apart. Reminds me more of a popular neighborhood trattoria in Rome. Partly because the food and wine are strictly Italian.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Do you prefer the main dining room or the smaller Dante's room? Heard that the main room can get noisy. What's the best area in the house for 2?

            1. re: Carb Lover

              The smaller room is often used for private groups...I haven't been able to sit there, always taken with a group when I have been....

              I find the two tops in the main room to be too close together for comfort (Lined up in rows against the windows on two sides). really, there isn't an area that is that much better than any other for two tops, in my opinion, and I've decided next time I try it I will either have apps or dessert in the bar, or go with a larger group. The noise isn't as bad as it used to be, perhaps, but still can get noisy...

              1. re: Carb Lover
                Robert Lauriston

                So far as I know, the Dante Room is just for private parties and the monthly wine dinners.

                I don't have any particular favorite, we've been seated all around the place except at the tall two-tops by the bar. The bar itself is comfortable, there's a wide step so it feels pretty much the same as sitting at a table. Often we go later in the evening on Monday nights and get a four-top for the two of us.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  The Dante room is open seating unless there's a private party. I've been seated back there as a 2-top and as a party of 8, and I can't recommend it if you're the 2-top amidst a larger party. It just gets loud back there.

              2. re: Robert Lauriston

                And Incanto has addressed the initial noise issues by draping a thick, velvet-backed fabric across the outer wall of the main room. I appreciate that, and find the main room a much more comfortable space now.