As mentioned in my previous post, my husband and I celebrated Valentine’s day this year with dinner at Sportello last Tuesday night. It is definitely one of our favorite restaurants for a nice night out and for delicious Italian food. And, it is conveniently located above one of our favorite bars, Drink!
This is the fourth time that we’ve been to Sportello, and it’s one of those places that we save for special occasions or for special company. I love the ambience in there, how the kitchen is wide open and you can hear and see them making your dish, and the unpretentiousness of it all. I was quite bummed though because since the last time we were there (last fall), I’ve learned that potatoes cause problems for me so I couldn’t get my usual go-to potato gnocchi dish. Their gnocchi is light-as-air and the mushroom sauce that it is served with is lick-the-bowl-clean worthy.
After divulging my pitiful potato news to our waiter that night (he was our waiter the last time we were there and remembered me/us), it was nice to know that they would be able to make me something using a different kind of pasta with the mushroom sauce. But this time I opted to try the the rigatoncini carbonara dish which is served with blue aracuana egg, guanciale, and black pepper. Wow. It was extremely good! I loved the guanciale (an unsmoked Italian bacon prepared with pig’s jowl or cheeks) and how it was crispy in texture, a nice contrast to the creaminess of the egg sauce. Each little cube packed so much flavor, I could’ve easily eaten a whole bowl of just guanciale on its own!
I think my husband was super adventurous that night and got something out of the ordinary (i.e. not red sauce, and not just spaghetti), the smoked potato agnolotti dish which was served with two types of mushrooms (black trumpet and hedge hog) and Monte Veronese cheese. He said that they kind of reminded him of pierogis, and that they were very good (proof: a spotlessly clean bowl).
We had about an hour to kill after dinner before heading over to the red velvet event mentioned in yesterday’s post, so we made our way downstairs to Drink. It was pretty much full around 7 pm which is great for a Tuesday night, but we did manage to find two seats at the bar. The bartender, Brynn, was super nice and seemed to really love her job (don’t you just love that vibe?!). I got my favorite cocktail there, the Green Point, which all I can remember of the list of ingredients in it is the yellow chartreuse and whiskey (I think she said whiskey). It’s quite potent to be honest, but it tastes better as you work your way through it. My husband went with the Fort Point cocktail which was very similar to the Green Point but I can’t remember what she said the difference was. Both come with a liqueur soaked cherry on the side. A great way to warm up from the inside on an icy cold, wind-howling type of winter night, and it prepared us for the walk to the bakery.