Slab reports, please!
Went last night with wife and son and had a very enjoyable time. The space is very nice but with the (FINALLY) perfect weather, the outdoor beer garden was where to be. We hit the menu pretty hard and liked everything we tried except maybe the Salumi. Unfortunately, i don't have a menu in front of me and I'd probably butcher the names so I'll try to describe our choices as best i can.
The "slab" comes in, i think, three sizes: "hand" (think a slice) and then a half and a whole which arrive on wooden rectangular pizza platters. Perfectly delicious and worthy of a visit on its own. We tried two other pizzas which were also good although we thought the spicy meat one had a bit more kick then we were expecting. An eggplant caponata was delicious though a little messy as was a pistachio cannoli. The beer offerings alone make the place worth a visit. Dominated by local brewers with some good selections from away plus a couple of colaborations, the list can keep most beer geeks entertained for quite a while.
I won't knock any service issues as it was their first night but everyone was very friendly and enthusiastic. Everything is served on recyclable paper products and all gets composted. This includes the wooden utensils which are not the easiest to use but I can put up with them to save the planet.
The two spaces (inside and out) give off distinct vibes. Outside is very informal. You'll make new friends at the long communal tables (as we did) or reacquaint yourself with old ones (also done). Christmas lights hang on the trees giving a nice lighting effect and there's a raised stage in the corner which, last night, was empty except for an adorable 4ish year old girl twirling around. I suspect the plan is to have some music.
Inside, while still casual, has a feel more like you'd probably get in Sicily with deep warm colors and a great looking bar. No communal seating at the tables in here.
Overall, I think Portland has another hit on its hands in the casual dining, great beer arena.
re: Bob W
Micucci's is a clone. A real good clone (after all they use Steven's recipes) but a clone nonetheless. I'm sure that I'll still eat there, and I love the store, but there's something about the original...
For bm_vt: it's on Preble St in the old Public Market building. Preble St. dead ends into Congress St at Monument Square and it's a half block down the one way street that you can't go down from Congress. It can be a PITA negotiating the streets and finding a parking spot.
I can't believe a place with that much hype over so many months actually EXCEEDED expectations.
The inside alone is first rate. There is nothing to compare it to in Portland. Looks like something out of a bigger city. Then you have the outside which is laid back and alive with up to 100 people or more at long tables.
Had the slab and the spicy wedge which I thought was great. Ice Cream cone cannoli was def not traditional but still very good. The beer list is probably only behind Novare. I liked both the colaboration beers I tried from Rising Tide and Gneiss. Plus if you wanna play it cheaper they got Naragannset on tap for 3 bucks.
Honestly I don't see myself picking another spot to go to that often after this. If it's nice out you go outside, you wanna sleek interior go inside, they got a bar with two decent size tvs if you wanna just watch the game and enjoy.
I actually like how limited the menu is. From the looks of Steve in the kitchen last night, they certainly don't need more stuff to make. Poor dude looked like he slept an hour in the past three months.