BRIGANTI (Pasadena) ... report
Dinner at Briganti on Saturday night.
Sat in the outside adjacent patio area. Very nice area.
Caesar salad was just right, simple and basic. Pizza with Italian sausage was a bit salty, but the crust was nice and chewy.
The ravioli with spinach and ricotta hit just the spot on a brisk fall night ... hearty and rich without being heavy.
The NY steak was pedestrian and the sauce that accompanied it was really too sweet.
All and all not a bad place. Good vibe, professional service and solid, though not necessarily spectacular food.
Not a destination place by any means, but if you ever find yourself in Old Town Pasadena, head a few blocks south and give this place a try.
Briganti is better--but the one meal I've had at Gale's was poor, probably not truly representative. At Briganti I had a pounded chicken breast (I don't normally order chicken in nice restaurants, since it's usually so boring, and I can make better at home, but I was on a South Beach-inspired diet), my daughter had a special of papardelle with some sort of bolognese that was really great. The spinach on the side of my chicken was exactly like I remember the spinach all over Florence--sauteed with garlic and oil, surely not great for my diet, but faboo.
I've been twice and have enjoyed both visits. The first time I got a special- handmade pappardelle w/ a proscuitto ragu which was excellent. My husband also got a special- spaghetti w/ lobster which we both polished off. He started with another special- the butternut squash soup, which was rich, sweet and delicious.
The second time we went I had yet another special- spaghetti w/ a sea urchin sauce topped with grated bottarga. I expected the pasta to be coated with melted urchin but instead it was flecked with bits of it and I couldn't see any bottargo. The flavor was nice but a bit on the mellow side. My husband got the margherita pizza which we both enjoyed, but it had only a single basil leaf in the center so we asked for more, which they brought over.
Overall, I really like this place. I have a feeling that it will become our Italian Beajolais- a local spot to get decent food and wine.
Tuna Toast: http://tokyoastrogirl.blogspot.com/