Sunday, May 23, 2010

Completing the trifecta at Sportello

Cocktails at Drink? Check. Dinner at Menton? Done. Which meant there was only one Barbara Lynch joint in the Fort Point Channel building we hadn't yet visited.

So on Friday, The Boy, Lovely Co-Worker Sarah and I went to

(We may have made a detour to Drink first; you know, just to make sure it was still there and everything.)

Sportello is in a very interesting space: think retro-modern space-diner of the future.

There are a few individual tables, and otherwise diners sit along a white serpentine counter that doubles back on itself, giving waitstaff access to everyone without needing to squeeze between chairs, as well as to the open kitchen.

The placemats are also the menus; while we decided, our waitperson brought scali bread.

And this is where things got awesome.

My experience of scali being previously limited to what's available in grocery stores and Italian bakeries, I expected thin slices of a light, airy and essentially evanescent bread. Nuh-uh. At Sportello, the scali is dense, thick, rustic and — flavorful. I know, I know!

But there's more: instead of the usual dish of olive oil, this bread came with whipped ricotta and rhubarb compote: a beautiful combination of creamy/slightly sweet with tart juiciness.

We were extremely tempted by the appetizers (roasted cauliflower with boquerones! Chicken liver mousse with pancetta! Veal tongue salad!) but decided to go directly to entree.

LC Sarah went with the tagliatelle finished with fried basil. The meat sauce had that ideal I-have-been-simmering-very-slowly-for-several-hours-for-your-eating-pleasure flavor: deep and multifaceted, without being insanely rich.

I'm a sucker for rabbit with olives, so chose the strozzapreti. I really wish I'd asked for extra bread to mop up the last pools of sauce.

The Boy, taking advantage of every possible opportunity for fiddleheads, went for the light, creamy spring risotto of ferns, favas, and peas.

Foregoing the app meant we had room for dessert. Sportello has a cute bakery counter in one corner, stocked with cupcakes and tarts and cookies, but we stuck to the menu. I ordered the salt/saffron ice-cream.

There are no words.

LC Sarah went for the strawberry shortcake - the perfect end to an early summer dinner.

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