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Favorite Dishes at Taranta?

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I'll be eating at Taranta for the first time and wondered what your favorite dishes are, apps, desserts and cocktails included. I'm a vegetarian and my DC loves seafood, but feel free to let me know if your favorites fall outside of this. If I like the place, I'll go back and bring more carnivorous friends.

I just read a post saying that their pasta dishes are their strong suit and the rest is mediocre. Do you agree?

Do you think it would be better to forgo their desserts and pick up pastries at Maria's first, and if so, do you know if they'd let us eat them there if we ordered coffee?

Also, any opinions on the best places to sit?

Thanks!

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  1. No, it's not at all true that the rest is mediocre. The tuna and the pork chops are 2 of their best dishes. My favorite is still the gnocchi w/ green lamb ragu, though guess that's out for both of you. You're going to have a tougher time, at least IMO, pretty much limited to salads and a couple of pastas, though the pappardelle w/ mushrooms is terrific. You might want to call and see if they can do something special for you.
    On that note--they might *let* you eat your own pastries there, they're awfully gracious, but since they're one of the few N End establishments that actually goes out of its way to serve dessert, that strikes me as rather inappropriate, no offense. They serve a good limoncello flute (it's not exactly gelato, not sure what it is--got some sort of semifreddo-ish texture).

    6 Replies
    1. re: tatamagouche

      I completely agree with tatamagouche's recommendations --the tuna is my absolute favorite. Other favorites are the calzone and gamberi & broccoli rabe appetizers, the trout, the pork chop & the gnocchi. I agree that bringing in dessert from another establishment is inappropriate. Chef Duarte brought us out a platter of all of their desserts once and they were all fabulous. Last time I was there we had the limoncello flute and the cannoli (I think it had guava in it?) & the cannoli was outstanding. I think they bring in their desserts from elsewhere, but I could be wrong.

      1. re: saridt

        I'm pretty sure you're right they're not housemade, but I'm not sure where he gets 'em. And of course I'm all for Maria's Pastries--eaten at home. And yes, I agree, those mini-calzoni apps are great, but note some contain meat.

        1. re: tatamagouche

          Thanks for the recs. Has anyone had the lobster raviolli? I think my DC would go right for that, but if it's not great, maybe I'll steer her toward the tuna...and the gnocchi. I think I should be all set with the caprese salad and mushroom pasta.

          I agree that bringing one's own dessert seems a little uncouth, but I asked about it for 2 reasons. When I've eaten at Mamma Maria and Prezza, I ordered dessert from their menus, and was left with a bad taste in my mouth after otherwise fantastic meals. I like to end things on a up note. Also, I ran across this site, which has a review of Taranta, along with some beautiful photos of their dishes (check out the photo album), and these diners brought their Mike's cannoli to the restaurant. Go about halfway down the page to get the the Taranta review.

          http://www.tastingmenu.com/archive/20...

          If the limoncello flute, cannoli, or any other desserts are on a par with Maria's, I'll happily order them.

          1. re: pollystyrene

            I really enjoyed the lobster ravioli. It had jumbo shrimp in it too and roated whole cgherry tomatoes.

            I also had a spinach salad with golden beets and warm goat cheese which was very good. We didn't have dessert.

            This was a good 3-4 months ago though.

            1. re: KitchenAid

              Thanks for the lobster ravioli vote, Kitchen. Those "roated cgherry" tomatoes sound especially good!

      2. re: tatamagouche

        Hey, life's short, eat dessert first. Sorry, bringing it into a resto that serves them without prior approval, to me. is at best presumptuous and at worst just plain rude.