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A Voce - review

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This past Sunday, I took my parents to A Voce for dinner. I had been there twice before, both times last summer, and really enjoyed it and I thought the food was even better this time. We were a group of four and shared the fritto misto, the duck meatballs, sheep’s milk ricotta, and fig and duck breseaola salad to start. We enjoyed everything but the duck meatballs were the standout and definitely lived up to the hype. The ricotta was also a hit. For my main course I had the summer corn ravioli which was amazing. The mushrooms in the sauce balanced the sweetness of the corn and gave it a bit more depth. I didn’t try any of the other main courses but my father, who can be pretty picky and old fashioned in his food preferences said, “This is really a quality restaurant” – very high praise. We also had the olive oil cake and the buttermilk panna cotta for dessert and they were both excellent. The service was perfect: helpful, professional and friendly. I was a little worried about the sound level but it was not an issue. Our reservation was early and the place was pretty empty when we arrived, but by the end of the meal they were full and my mother, who isn’t great with background noise, didn’t have any problems hearing. Food and service-wise, it was a fantastic meal.

But the thing that impressed me the most about A Voce was the wine list. I am not a wine expert by any stretch, but I’m relatively knowledgeable and I have ordered a lot of bottles of wine in a lot of restaurants so I’m pretty aware of how different places put their wine lists together. On the A Voce website they say that the list is designed to offer affordability as well as luxury and that they offer many bottles under $80, but I was amazed at how many bottles they had under $50. At a place where main courses are priced up to the $30s, so many inexpensive wines is really a treat. There are so many great, interesting, inexpensive wines out there, I think it shows respect for a restaurant’s guests to offer them those options instead of forcing them to shell out more than they may want to if they are going to order a bottle. It also makes me feel more comfortable asking for help from the very accessible sommelier if I can tell him that I am looking at a price point where I have more than a few token choices. Having been to Borough Food and Drink the night before, where the service is clueless and mains max out at $20 but the cheapest bottle of sparkling wine was $55, I was amazed to see two proseccos in the low $40s on the A Voce list. Of course there are lots of more expensive bottles as well, which worked out perfectly for our group: my father bought a ½ bottle of a more expensive white burgundy, and the rest of us split a bottle of an Alto Adige Gewurtraminer. I left very happy and excited to go back. I think it is the perfect place to go when you are looking for something special without going the fixed price or tasting menu route.

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