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Savinos, Belmont

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We were at a wine tasting in Cushing square, Belmont (yes, formerly dry Belmont) and were starving despite cheese and crackers. The babysitter clock was ticking, so we crossed the street for a second try at Savinos. On our prior visit ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/394553 ) we thought the appetizers were fabulous and the entrees weak, so decided to sit at the bar for "Tapas". They are still running a special of a drink with three Tapas items for 22$.

Started with a great glass of Verdicchio for me and an italian red for my wife that she did not let me sample. I ordered broccoli rabe, mussels with fennel, and goat cheese/proscuitto brushetta. My wife had grilled shrimp with fennel salad, mushroom risotto and a sweet potato napoleon. I liked my combination of bitter rabe, sweet mussels and savory brushetta, especially as everything came at once. The rabe was the weakest - I prefer it sauteed with garlic and red pepper and drizzled with a fruity olive oil - this was braised and not particularly bitter. The brushetta were good - a nice slab of proscuitto with warm goat cheese and sundried tomatos - the proscuitto was difficult to separate into distinct bites, so most of the topping came off with the first bite of toast. This was actually fine with me, as I wanted the toast to soak in the mussel liquor anyway. The mussels were certainly the standout - delicately flavor sweet broth with plump mussels and finely chopped fennel.

My wife chose less wisely. She loved the mushroom risotto - creamy and rich with nice mushrooms. The grilled shrimp were apparently fine, but there were only two and she did not like the fennel salad. The sweet potato napoleon was disks of sweet potato layered with fontina cheese and baby spinach - it was not bad, but didn't have any spark - just kind of bland.

Finished with a glass of nuval LB port and a half glass of sicilian dessert wine for my wife - last of a bottle that they do not carry anymore.

$57 before tip. Not a bad deal for a variety of tastes, not too filling, great wine.

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