after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

overhyping Le Virtu

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t says:  The gang has been wanting to go to Le Virtu for some time.  They’ve been getting a lot of press, including a favorable review of the bajillion course meal, so we knew we just had to get in there and see what’s cookin’ …

January 2013, Saturday Dinner, Party of 5.  The space was much smaller than I was expecting – or maybe it was a fine space, but dominated by very large tables.  I found myself very-nearly-shouting across the table so people could hear me (the tables were very wide).  But that’s cool, right?  A nice “lively” atmosphere!  After the first few minutes, we got used to the volume and it was no big deal.  We ordered a bottle of wine (Le Virtu’s not BYO), ordered our food, and let the flurry of dishes just come on out!  They came fast and furious, but I only managed to snap pictures of these:


house-made sausage and polenta: this was AWESOME – the leaking sausage juices over the polenta was incredible – I found myself using bread to sop my dish clean.  I’d say this was the best dish of the evening …

special gnocchi

gnocchi with lamb sausage and pecorino.  When I first heard “gnocchi and lamb sausage” I was jazzed.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t exactly the kind of gnocchi that I was expecting – it was more of an extra-firm pasta.  Now I’m sure that what they served me is indeed technically considered “gnocchi”, and that’s fine, but I feel like they need to make some mention that it’s a little atypical, because simple-minded diners like me will be confused.  Overall, the the dish was nothing more than some pasta, some cheese, and some sausage.  No hidden surprises or complexities.  WYSIWYG.  I was hoping for something a little more … (some kind of acid would have brightened the dish a bit)


the other gnocchi with lamb shoulder. kp’s gnocchi were more of like gnocchi I was expecting with my dish.  the texture was spot-on, however, the sauce had that sweet-tanginess to it that I generally dislike in tomato-based sauces.  And where was the lamb?

g got a tagliettelle rabbit ragu and was very impressed.  She boasted about her perfect pasta and savory sauce … and before I got any, it was gone!  She said it was nearly-Melagrano-good – not quite as nuanced with the seasoning (e.g. it didn’t have herbacious rosemary accents), but a nice rabbit oomph!  n and m enjoyed their food, but ultimately felt that there was better to be had at places like Modo Mio.

And there you had the general gist of the evening.  There were some good highlights in there, but for every highlight (with the exception of the sausage), we found ourselves thinking of someone else who might do it better.  Is it snobby-as-hell?  Sure.  And while some might think of this being a poor showing for Le Virtu, I think it’s a bit of a compliment, as it means that Le Virtu is flirting with greatness … but it’s just not “there” yet … and certainly not #5

Written by afterdinnersneeze

26 January 2013 at 6:55pm

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