Any reports on Canneti Roadhouse Italiana (Forestville)?
Yep, I was there in April when it had been open for less than two months. As might be expected it was a mixed bag both food and service-wise. Some other friends who had already tried it talked up the Tuscan tasting menu ($55), so that’s what our party of four ordered. Part of my issue with the experience has to do with the seating. Essentially we were seated at a picnic table dropped into a rustic dining room, backless wooden bench and all. I had to coordinate my movement with my benchmate, and it was not easy to move the bench to sit down or get up from the table. Other hard-lined wooden chairs in the restaurant had backs but looked not much more comfortable.
We brought wines from home but also ordered wine from the list, a bottle of Vernaccia plus a couple of the suggested pairings by the glass. Our server did a pretty good job of explaining the Italian whites on the list when asked. The manager, on the other hand, pontificated about the wines like we were wine-idiots, a pretty stupid assumption at a wine country restaurant.
The first bite, a deviled duck egg, was a good start. Best dish was next up, sformatino. As you can see by this presentation, this was no simple roadhouse dish. I would have liked a second serving of this.
Then we switched over to a more rustic, homestyle dish, a soft eggless fresh pasta in a pea leaf and mint pesto. This was pretty delicate in flavor. I did not care for the mushy pasta.
The main course was a disaster: Pinot leaf wrapped Berkshire pork, Swiss chard, rainbow chard stems, saffron pasta gratin, crispy carrots. The dry and scorched leaf would not detach from the meat and the rough micro-fragments abraded the palate. The pork was hard, overcooked, and underseasoned. The pasta gratin was a grainy, dried out, rubbery, inedible lump. Crispy carrots were incinerated but not crispy. The only part of this plate that could be consumed was a pile of diced chard stems.
Dessert was adequate. Hazelnut cake was dryish, as Italian-style cakes tend to be, and needed even more sauce on the side.
And the next day, I realized that we had not been served the crispy artichoke side dish listed on the menu. For my $55, I was served but one enjoyable dish.