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Feb 24, 2009 05:35 PM

Benatti- Menu recommendations

I've read the past comments but wondered if more of you have dined there than have commented and if you have any specific menu items to recommend. We will be four, "play-well-together" diners.

What should we not miss on this first visit? (And, what should we avoid?)

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  1. If they have the lamb and polenta as a special, it's absolutely superb. The tortelloni with walnuts and a balsamic glaze is unusual and excellent. Pesto Gnocchi is very good, and the scallops appetizer with orange reduction is quite good. For dessert, the almond semi freddo is great. We've eaten pretty widely from the menu, and the only things I haven't loved are the apple ravioli and the campari gelatin desserts.

    Enjoy-- Benatti is one of our absolute favorites.

    9 Replies
    1. re: newhound

      We had dinner there tonight, and I love the tortelloni (filled with ricotta & spinach) in the walnut/balsamic sauce. My husband had the tortellini in Parmigiano-Reggiano sauce which is also very good. The pesto gnocchi which was heavenly. Grilled seasonal vegetables appetizer was simple but so delicious, with a nice smoky flavor.

      I wasn't crazy about the apple ravioli dessert. Tiramisu was very good.

      Absolute fantastic meal.

      1. re: y2000k

        Perhaps we dined together without knowing it! We were a table of four sitting near the bar at 6:15 PM.

        We all enjoyed the meal and certainly will return. Our little group tasted a good portion of the menu. (Don't you love dining with friends who share?)

        We tried:

        The rack of lamb special with minted herb crust over a polenta cake. - Lovely - you could see the delight in our friend as she ate it. We encouraged picking up the bones and she enjoyed every last nibble. The bites we shared were perfectly cooked and well balanced.

        The grilled vegetables -- I agree with y2000k, simple, cooked perfectly drizzled with balsamic sauce.

        Half portions of the gnocchi with pesto and a second plate with tomato sauce.-- airy bites of lovely gnocchi and both sauces were good matches.

        The risotto with porcini and Parmigiano with truffle oil. - Excellent and I'm a very fussy risotto customer because I make a great one myself.

        The snapper with a bake of risotto and vinaigrette sauce. (I didn't taste this one but everyone else liked it.)

        My own main course was the Fettuccine Bolognese. I always feel that this can be a good test of a restaurant. Here it scored an A+ with great depth of flavor in the sauce and perfectly cooked pasta.

        The wine list was well matched. We had a bottle of of Ribolla to start and a Montepulciano with our entrees.

        I finished with Espresso but two of the group had room for dessert and shared a meringue almond dish that I was too full to sample. They enjoyed it.

        The room is very small, I would always recommend reservations. Last night, I called to tell them we were running a bit late. They advised me that our table had a reservation at 8:30. I have to give them a great deal of respect for that openness. It let us pace our meal so that we would not be a problem to the next diners. They were showing a great deal of respect for a reservation in a tiny place.

        Despite our late arrival, they paced the meal well. We did what we could to help and our servers were gracious throughout.

        One more tip, our table had a heating grate under it. If you go in winter, dress in layers. I did slip my jacket off for part of the meal. They also should be praised for creating a corridor from the door to the back of the space so that they don't have any of those dreaded tables near a drafty front door. Once again, customer centered and considerate.

        1. re: BostonZest

          Funny that you were there last night as well. Yes, I noted your table of 4. We were the table of 3.

          I would love to go back more often, but unfortunately it's in the pricey category that we can only go for special occasions.

          1. re: y2000k

            We are very likely to stop in for the pasta at the tiny bar. We love going to a great place and having a little bit of food instead of a big meal. Since they have half portions of pasta, I can see us sharing an appetizer, two half portions of pastas and a glass or two of wine. Or, just sharing an appetizer and a big pasta.

            1. re: BostonZest

              I didn't know they had a bar! I will have to stop in soon to check it out!! How many does it seat?

              1. re: ChickenLittle

                It's a very small bar. Probably 2?

        2. re: y2000k

          I forgot to mention their bread! OMG, it is so good. I could eat 2 loaves if they would allow me.

          1. re: y2000k

            So hot from the oven that we had to wait to eat it. I agree.

      2. I just went to Benati a few weeks ago and had the lasagna. It was really good, sort of a free-form lasagna. Excellent flavors. One of my friends had the pasta with bolognese and loved it. He also got the osso buco which he sent back because it was tough. So I'm not sure if that is the way to go. Although my boyfriend liked the tortelloni the previous poster mentioned, he thought the balsamic glaze overpowered the dish a bit. The other diner in our party got salmon and seemed to enjoy it, but pasta is clearly the way to go at Benati. We'll definitely try it again. I hope you enjoy.