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Entries in Il Sogno (1)

Sunday
Dec042011

Il Sogno

After my third visit, a long overdue post for Il Sogno...that sound you hear is me gently pounding my forehead against the table for not experiencing La Reve when I had a chance and also for not taking pictures during my last visit when I had better light.

I know that your photos should tell a story, but this time I will have to use my words.  Hopefully somewhere between, "We ate good food," and "the sauce was redolent of (insert obscure ingredient here) with just a soupcon of joie de vivre." 

The grapefruit slice in my water looked a thousand times more beautiful in real life and exemplefied the care taken at Il Sogno on the most basic level.  When you are seated at your table you are offered a slice of citrus (grapefruit/orange/lemon/lime) or cucumber (Sophie noticed this) for your water. 

I had heard via the Twitter that the appetizer special would be oven roasted sardines with aged balsamic and tomato and knew I had to have them.  They arrived at the table--4 whole fishies with their crispy skin, surrounded by roasted tomatoes--Sophie said, "I thought that was your entree until I saw the faces."  After spending time in Korea, I have come to appreciate the simple goodness of a properly roasted fish {mackerel in Korea}.  My first experience with fresh sardines--whole fish conversion completed.

This is what the funghi pizza with goat cheese, mascarpone and carmelized onions looks like without the mushrooms....If you are wondering what kind of person orders a mushroom pizza and asks to have it without mushrooms....

 It's this person right here.  The waiter didn't bat an eyelash and I didn't hear any screaming from Chef Weissman in the open kitchen....and this came to the table....

The waiter even brought a spoon for serving them...The customer is always right at Il Sogno.  Even if she is a 12 year old whose mother forbade her from ordering the 4 cheese pizza.  Sophie also enjoyed the white bean puree that accompanied the complimentary foccacia--score 10 points for Gryffindor--I mean Il Sogno.  That is the first time a legume puree has passed her lips, and she went back for more, and I quote, "This adds a lot of flavor to the breadsticks."  

 Without Ian's help we were seriously underpowered in the eating as well as the photography department.  This is a photo of my entree (braised beef shortribs with roasted brussel sprouts and root vegetables with shoe string potatoes) after I "finished."  Thankfully braises tend to taste just as good the next day.  The crispy, smoky, impossibly delicious haystack of shoe string potatoes--I didn't have to encourage Sophie to try.  The meat was everything you could ask for in a shortrib, the sauce had the perfect balance of acid and fat, and it almost made a turnip lover out of me.  What a great dish for a rainy winter evening--as evidenced by the 4 out of 6 people who ordered it at the table next to us.

Here's the real reason we went home with takeout containers...Lots of blur in the photo because I had to capture the Nutella tart quickly before Sophie snatched it up.  Such a gorgeous dessert.  Sophie loved this and finished every bite except the one I managed to steal.  She was surprised and pleased that the tart is served warm.  I think I will have to find this recipe even though the Lee family needs another Nutella vehicle like a hole in the head.  Note the absence of take out containers on the table...that's because the waiter brought them with the check--saving us both embarrassment and table space.

My dessert selection: Bunet--a Piedmontese chocolate dessert.  Focus on chocolate.  Like the dark kind, with gelatin. Chocolate power without the gut bomb. Enough said.  Still couldn't finish it, damn.  I had an espresso that I knew I would regret come bedtime but powerful enough to get me home before I lapsed into a postprandial coma.

Great food + excellent staff=return visit guaranteed.  Grazie mille. 

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