CANELE IN LOZ FELIZ
I used to go to Osteria Nonni, every so often, and liked the simple Italian comfort food. I had heard the owner was trying to sell it for a while, and was surprised when he finally did. We went tonight, and had a superb meal. We started with a Calamari Salad, tossed in a lime and cilantro vinaigrette, and a Celery Root and Fresh Herb Salad drizzled with a fruity olive oil. Both were excellent. The celery root was so crispy and fresh, and the parsley that it was tossed with was the perfect compliment. The calamari was very tender and not over cooked, and had the perfect tang from the lime juice. Our entrees were Snapper with Haricot Vers and Heirloom Tomato Salad, and Shrimp Jambalaya. The Snapper was absolutely perfect. The skin was crispy, and crusted with herbs, and the meat was done to a beautiful medium rare. It was plump and juicy. The haricot vers salad was so fresh and slightly crunchy. I cant comment on the Jambalaya, because my date ate is too quickly and I could not get a bite. We had the chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert, which was moist, and satisfying. The space is very Prune-New York. Smallish, cozy, personable, warm, fresh simple food. What a treat for the neighborhood. I will go back often.
The SO and I went tonight as well and enjoyed our very, very recent meal. Perhaps we might've seen each other?
The hostess informed us that two wines had been added that day (but had not been added to the physical paper wine list) and that the waitress could let us sample whatever we were considering. The waitress indeed offered us a taste of one of the new picks, a syrah. We opted not to order an appetizer so as to have room for cheesecake. I ordered a seared snapper with a side of various heirloom tomatoes, various beans, red onion, olives, and herbs; the SO had boeuf bourgignon with noodles. My dish was clean, simple, flavorful, and freshly-prepared. The snapper seemed to have a thin crust of some sort that kept the filet moist. The SO's boeuf bourgignon had a pronounced earthiness from the mushrooms (we liked it, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who won't eat anything but mushrooms of the button variety). The cheesecake strayed a bit from the classic: the cheese-y (what should I call it?) part a bit like custard and had a creamier center than the standard NY-style. Although I liked it enough to continue eating it, I found it to be a bit too sweet (I'm really sensitive to that, sorry!). The graham crust was more than serviceable, but you can get a better crust at Clementine (if you care about that). The hostess offered us canneles as we were walking out. I thought the after-dinner offering lived up to the restaurant's name-- or is it the other way around?
Neither of us had complaints about the food or the service-- the service in particular was better than at most other restaurants we've been to in a while (we haven't had noteworthy service since going to Tagine last winter/spring).
The prices might be steep for Atwater, but they're still more reasonable than other places in the area, given the quality of the food and service (*cough* Blair's, Cafe Stella, Kitchen, etc., etc. *cough*). The SO even commented that the food was better than that at Blair's (neither of us get the hype surrounding restaurants on the Eastside). The appetizers are $6-10, mains $15-20, and desserts $6.
Our total for 2 glasses of wine, 2 mains, and a dessert came to just under $53 (including tax and excluding tip, which was another $10).
would it be gauche to ask for a canele as we're leaving if they don't happen to hand a couple over, reminds a little of how you get pralines upon exiting commander's palace.