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Oct 14, 2010 07:27 AM

In praise of Salento - not just another Italian BYOB...

It doesn't get a lot of hype, but I finally got around to trying Salento last night and oh my goodness...I have a new favorite Italian BYOB in the city, easily! Honestly it was the closest I've had to dining at a genuine trattoria in Italy in this city. Service was wonderful and so attentive...the host, curious about our wine, tasted it himself so he could advise on what would be the best matches on the menu (and he made excellent suggestions!) The pasta with oven-roasted tomatoes and ricotta salata was outrageously good, so simple yet perfect. They happily split the pasta order in two so we could share neatly and do a more authentic antipasti/primi/secondi meal. They also offered to serve smaller secondi if we wished, but we were pretty hungry - but even so took home plenty for dinner tonight.

Also must say as much as I do like Amis? The Roman-style artichoke and mixed seafood grill at Salento was MUCH superior in my opinion (and more generous) for around the same price. Both were much less oily and lighter tasting, with more of a delicate lemon-garlic flavor shining through.

Total for 2 antipasti, 1 pasta, 1 special entree, 1 regular menu entree, 1 dessert and 2 espresso (one a double) was $91 before tip - really not bad at all considering all that we ate. We will definitely be going back as soon as we're in the city again to sample more of the menu.

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