L'Orcio: New Haven, CT
Summary: Mrs. Foodguy and I decided to try something new today, and we chose L'Orcio. L'Orcio is a beautiful place with great ambiance and friendly staff. We were greeted and sat promptly, we had made reservations even though it was a Tuesday night. Overall it was a pleasant experience that I would more than likely try a second time. I would also recommend L'Orcio to others based on the good food and great ambiance. Read on for more indepth review.
Location: L'Orcio is located on State Street in New Haven, CT. Parking on State Street is hit and miss, but all of the restaurants post signs saying to park for free at Pulaski Lot (I suggest looking it up before going). We managed to find parking on the street a few blocks down. Walking up to L'Orcio we noticed how nicely it was lit and how the ambiance spilled over into the street. We were excited about going to L'Orcio due to our recent experiences at other restaurants. Upon walking in we noticed the great decor and soothing colors and lighting. L'Orcio definitely hit the mark when it comes to setting the mood to be with friends and family and eat and drink while you are at it. Great job L'Orcio, I would return for the ambiance if nothing else.
Review: In the food department I was a little let down as I was expecting great things from the ambiance of L'Orcio. We both ordered a glass of Pinot Noir which was good, however their by the glass wine list was a little lackluster with few to choose from. The waitress brought over bread for us, but just with butter not olive oil. To start Mrs. FoodGuy and myself ordered the Caesar salad off of L'Orcio's beautiful menu. The salad was a little oily, but the huge downfall for me was the store bought croutons, I would have hoped for better. I ordered the Gnocchi in a wild mushroom and sausage sauce (it was a special) and Mrs. FoodGuy ordered the Eggplant sauce with Pappardelle. Both of our sauces were excellent! I thouroughly enjoyed mine as well as the other even though I don't like eggplant that much. My only gripe would be that the pasta was overcooked on both of our plates. I like my pasta al dente, but I can deal with less. With that said, both of our pastas bordered on mushy. Mrs. FoodGuy liked hers regardless of the pastas texture.
Recommendation: I would suggest that if you are in the area that you try L'Orcio as they have good Italian food. Go in knowing that the great ambiance may not overflow to the food.
Price: See website link above for menu
I am a fan of L'Orcio. It is a good mix of elegance, good food and simplicity. It is what Tre Scalini is not; lively and homey.
Five of us had dinner there and they were quite busy and full. Service suffered a little as we waited a little too long for drinks and the check. Otherwise there is nothing but praise. OK, their wine list is sparse and almost all Italian. What they have, especially at the fourtyish and below range, and wine by the glass selection is very good. An issue hardly worth complaining about. We had several good bottles of red and I had a really nice glass of Hogue chardonnay.
To start, I had mussels in a garlicky broth. These were the best, freshest, plump mussels I have had in eight years of New England dining. Not a speck of sand or detritus and, had the broth been reduced, I would have been perfectly happy to eat it with pasta for my meal. As it was, I ordered the yelllowfin tuna carpacchio with arugula salad in a lemon vinaigrette as an entree, knowing that SO would share her spinach and ricotta filled ravioli swimming in a sea of luscious tomato sauce. A relative ordered the fillet mignon with gorgonzola cheese sauce and pronounced it delicious and perfectly prepared as requested. The tomato sauce with the giant, homemade ravioli was divine. I would give the food a "five". My chocolate dessert, "Charlotte di Amaretti", a chocolate mousse with the outside edge encrusted with Rum soaked Amaretto cookies (and served with fresh whipped cream), was a huge hit at the table. Some thought the rosemary flavored gellato to be very good. I didn't get a taste offered.
Our sumptuous meal, drinks, dessert (with some espressos), and 18% tip came out to $59 each. It was worth it.
806 State St, New Haven, CT 06511
Ate lunch at L'Orcio's very recently. They did not have the patio open "because of the weather", but I think it was because of lack of business, which is unfortunate. We were there early, but never saw more than 6-8 customers at three or four tables. We got a table with a view of the patio and the window was open; a nice touch. We could hear the children playing in the schoolyard next door, which gave the meal a very homey, neighborhood restaurant feel, which is precisely what it is!
The meal was simply fantastic and the service from the mature, male waiter, who has waited on us several times before, could not have been better. I ordered a special and asked if the spaghetti was made in-house. I thought I knew the answer (no); he suggested that I could substitute the fresh pappardelle.
We drank the house Pinot Grigio and Cab. The cab was quite good and the pinot was fine as well. I also enjoyed the house Montepulciano wine. I would say these house wines by the glass are an outstanding value and a cut above many.
We shared a Insalata Caprese, which was delicious with its very flavorful mozz and decently flavorful tomatoes. Good mozzarella is so delicious.
I had a mussel and clam seafood fresca with the pappardelle and SO had a grilled chicken salad with gorgonzola. The smoky grilled chicken with cheese was rich and delicious.
So our tally was the same as Leon's from a few days earlier. There was no comparison.
My only knock was the butter was served cold. Big deal; it is just one of my pet peaves because it's hard to spread.
I don't know how I'Orcio is faring, but please support this fine restaurant!
Last summer, I asked our waitress about what pasta was made fresh, in-house, and was told only the fettucini and pasta for making the ravioli. I could be mistaken about which is which (and perhaps they make their gnocchi), but am sure she said that some of it was from dried pasta... that they couldn't do it all; they didn't have the space or time.