Off to Maialino tonight with some friends. Anyone been and have any recos? I don’t eat pig but grew up in central Italy and want to see how close they actually got, as they brand themselves a trattoria.
I noticed a quintarelli valpo on the list for cheap. Bringing a Pergole Torte and a bottle of JK’s The Judge. They have very cheap corkage.
I’m also curious to hear what you think Loren, I haven’t been to Maiolino yet. Though as a disclaimer they do buy wine from the company I work for. Hopefully I will get there soon.
Interestingly enough, I had a nice meal in Montclair last night at Veggie Heaven.
I thought it was one of the best dining experiences I have had in a long time. And, by the way, I grew up in Central Italy (Le Marche) and we went with 2 Romani. So - tough judges. First, the somm was incredibly nice and helpful. I brought 2 bottles with me, one of which required a pretty aggressive decant and she managed it perfectly. I bought one. As they were moving from the 98 Ca del Merlo Quintarelli to the 99 that evening, she brought me a glass to taste, with her, to decide if we should go with that or the 98 Quintarelli Valpo superiore. A kind gesture I thought. We went with the 99 Ca del merlo. A bit more structured and less sweet on the finish.
The pasta was fatta a casa and sublime. I too had the tonarelli with the cacio e pepe. A simple dish for sure but prepared just like when I was growing up (maybe better - don’t tell my mom). Drank a Pergole Torte with that course. They also had suppli on the menu - my mom is a suppli master - and they were delicious. Even the fritto misto was perfect. I had the halibut in a spicy tomato reduction for a secondo and it to was fantastic. Drank the Quintarelli with that. Others had the agnello. No one had the porcetta (or maialino, as they say in Rome). Had a contorno of fagioli that were creamy and delicious. I am not a huge tartufo fan, so we ordered the crostata (fantastic) and the buddino (also very good) for desert. The waiter felt so strongly that the tartufo would delight that he brought it to the table with his compliments. With extra malaga cherries. This was better than any tartufo I had ever had. Sensational. Drank a 2001 serpico with that (the somm brought it out during the secondo but I thought it was a bit awkward and obvious next to the sophistication and nuance of the valpolicella).
Food great, service impeccable…outstanding. Admittedly I may be scoring it higher as - having grown up in central italy - I very rarely encounter food that transports me back like that.