Friday, December 2, 2011

Beretta

GIRLFRIENDS HOLIDAY DINNER 2011: 12.02 @ 6PM

The true art of Beretta's cuisine  was in its simplicity.  The chef was able to transform simple seasonal  items into delicate dishes that were harmonious and lovely on the tastebuds.

My girlfriends and I pigged out and splurged for our annual holiday party,   We started off with SEVEN cocktails (and finished off with 2 dessert wines.) Every cocktail we drank was well-made, strong and delicious! However, the NUESTRA PALOMA (tequila, elderflower, cointreau, grapefruit, bitters $10) was the favorite among the ones we have tried, and ordered a couple more! Cocktails were priced between $9 - $11 each.

For our dinner, we ordered a 6 small plates, 2 pizzas and a dessert.

Neapolitan Pizza with Burrata, Vegan Sausage Pizza and Squid Ink Risotto
SMALL PLATES/SALAD:
1. EGGPLANT CAPONATINA $6: This was a very impressive dish. The eggplant was very silky and very flavorful. This was a favorite among all of us.

2. GNOCCHI WITH PORCINI $9: Even without the smoked pancetta which I requested to be omitted, this dish was also delicious with  full of the earthy flavors of the mushrooms very pronounced in the palate. I've had more "pillow-like" gnocchi in the past but this dish was mouthwatering in its totality.

3. MONTEREY SARDINES EN SAOR $7: Fresh whole sardines in vinegar without the fishy taste. Even my non-seafood eating friend had a taste and  enjoyed it!

4. WINTER GREENS WITH PERSIMMON AND POMEGRANATE $7/$11: A very simple salad with vinaigrette dressing but the ingredients were so fresh that they were like flavor bombs in our mouth. The persimmon was sweet contrast to the tanginess of the pomegranate which was a good contrast to the bitterness of the greens. Divine!

5. ZUCCHINI PARMIGIANA WITH SCARMOZA & BASIL $6
I was not crazy about this one. A little too dense with tomatoes but good--like ratatouille.

6. SQUID INK RISOTTO: I was about to pop but I could not stop eating this creamy heavenly bowl of black risotto with tender squid rings. Really, really good!

PIZZA:
1.MARGHERITA BURRATA $15*It was like biting on a piece of soft heavenly clouds. The burrata was soft and delicate. A delicious well-made thin-crust pizza.

2. VEGAN SPICY ITALIAN SAUSAGE $15 (+extra anchovies)My first vegan pizza and if all vegan pizzas taste like this, I would not be so resentful being born a lactose intolerant.  I could not taste the difference between the vegan and the dairy version except for the sausage. Very good!

PORTIONS:Generously portioned and reasonably priced.. After the small plates we even had leftover pizza slices. We were rolling ourselves out of our seats!

DECOR/AMBIANCE/ATMOSPHERE:
Loud, lively and packed!! Small, narrow, dark with pretty chandeliers. Al fresco dining is possible on a freakishly warm night in December like the night we were there. Folks were enjoying dinner at the tables on the sidewalk. The servers were attentive, friendly and laid-back despite the very busy evening.


HOW TO GET A TABLE: Beretta does not accept reservations except for parties of 6. One of my girlfriends called at 5:15 pm and asked to be put on the list. She showed up at 5:50 PM, was the first one and they seated her while she waited for us.  Otherwise, try to wait for a very long time for a table!

OVERALL:
Beretta was able to retain the integrity of the ingredients by not overdoing it and by capitalizing on the natural flavors of the vegetables/fruit that are in season. One of the best dining I have had in a while considering Beretta's dishes are simple and not overly ambitious in their execution.

CHECK: $232 with tax and tip ($58 per happy tipsy gal)

Beretta on Urbanspoon

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