Tried erbaluce this weekend
I went to erbaluce for dinner for the first time last weekend, and I thought I’d share my thoughts.
For an elegant restaurant I thought the dining room had a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere. It could even be described as cozy, although I would have preferred a little more room between tables. Also, as the dining room filled-up it did get a little noisy.
When we arrived we received a warm greeting from the hostess, and our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and was able to provide us with insightful answers to all our questions.
Overall I thought the food was good, although the pasta did not live up to my high expectations. Further, I thought the restaurant was a good value as it is priced a little lower than some of the other high end Italian restaurants in Boston.
Below are my thoughts on the specific dishes that I tried.
Radicchio Salad – This salad came topped with a nice portion of burrata and a pistachio dressing. The burrata was the star of this dish. It was locally made. It had a very creamy texture and was not as tangy as most burratas that I’ve had in the past. The nuttiness of the pistachio dressing worked well with the burrata. My one criticism would be that I thought the radicchio was slightly too bitter for the delicate nature of the cheese, but overall I thought this was a good dish.
Roasted Cauliflower – This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The cauliflower came roasted with raisins and capers, and topped with taleggio cheese. The combination was fantastic. The capers and raisins added a great salty and sweet element to the more mild cauliflower, and the richness of the taleggio gave the dish great depth and really made it a comfort food.
Mushroom Ricotta Lasagnette – I expected great things from this dish, as it had many elements that I love, but it did not live up to my lofty expectations. I heard the pastas at erbaluce are stars of the menu, and I love lasagna, mushrooms and ricotta. But this dish lacked the creaminess that I associate with lasagna and ricotta, and it lacked the richness and depth of flavor that I expect from a mushroom pasta dish. The dish was fine. It just did not blow me away.
Gnocchi – I thought there were elements of this dish that were successful and elements that were less successful. The gnocchi came topped with parmesan and shaved parsnips, and with a poached duck egg in the middle of the plate. The texture of the gnocchi was silky and soft and as I bit into them I discovered a creamy center that reminded me of cheese fondue. As much as I loved the texture of this dish, I found it lacking in flavor. I thought it could have used a richer sauce. The duck egg did add some richness, but it still needed more seasoning. I actually forgot the parsnips were part of this dish, until I looked at the menu to remind myself of all the elements.
Fettuccini With Lamb Ragu – I found that this dish just fell flat. It did not have any of the richness that I would normally expect from a lamb ragu. Generally I just found the dish to be boring.
Braised Beef – I really enjoyed this dish. The beef was fork tender. It had a great richness and depth of flavor, as did the sauce it was plated with. It was plated atop some wilted greens and root vegetables that were perfectly cooked and flavorful. The beef was accompanied by a pear compote that was good in its own right, although for me it was a bit too sweet for the beef.
Caramelized Orange Chocolate Tart – This desert was enjoyable, but not spectacular. It came topped with a large portion of whipped cream which masked some of the subtle flavors of the tart. The tart has a very nice crust which was rich and flavorful, but the chocolate filling was light and actually got a little lost between the crust and the cream. The dessert was topped with pieces of candied orange, which I really enjoyed.
Panna Cotta With Cherry Topping – This was one of the best panna cottas I have ever had. It was rich and creamy. It actually reminded me a little of rich, high quality, soft serve vanilla ice cream. The cherry topping added a nice tartness that worked well with the richness of the panna cotta.
69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116