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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Place Report - Mezzanotte Ristorante

First of all I would like to inform y'all that I am a pretty easy woman to please.  Take me to a restaurant to enjoy a meal and you have just made me the happiest woman on the planet.  Especially if it is a place I have not been to before. 

So for our six year get together anniversary my husband took me to a place I've been asking to go for a while now.  Mezzanotte Ristorante might as well be right in my back yard.  It is located at Louetta Road & Grant Road nestled in the middle of a "V" shaped shopping center.  I saw it while picking up a pizza at Locatelli's (Which I will blog about at a later date..).  For some reason I really like the location of this restaurant.  I am being honest when I say I am not really sure why.  It feels like one of those tucked away gems that no one knows about. 

Upon entering the restaurant my first observation is that the establishment is on the smaller side, but gives off a more of a comfortable than a cramped feel.  We were sat at one of those dreadful two person tables.  (See Melting Pot Blog for my opinion on this matter.)  But again to be honest the table was big enough so it was not as bad as the last place we were sat at a two person table. 

Upon looking over the menu not very many things jumped out and bit me.  The appetizer menu seemed to draw my eye back to it several times though.  I ended up not getting an appetizer for my meal; instead I decided to be a bit daring.  Well as daring as trying something you have had before in a different way can be. 

Before we get to that though; we did order an appetizer.  We ordered the Mozzarella En Carrozza from the weekly special menu.  The menu informed us that it is a southern Italy specialty consisting of mozzarella di bufala delicately flash fried served with a Tarantina sauce which is made with garlic, capers, anchovies, and sun-dried tomatoes.  I have to say that this sauce was the most delectible sauce I've ever had.  It was light and flavorful.  They had given us bread to dip in some herbs encompassed in oil, and I dipped the bread in the sauce after we had eaten the fried cheese before they could whisk the plate away. 

My husband had ordered this pretty quickly and regretted not consulting me more before placing the order, but I reassured him that I was very pleased with his selection.  First I love to order off of weekly special menu's because what you order may not be there the next time you come so you can try new and different things, and again that sauce was just phenomenal. 

For my entree I ordered the Ossobuco which on the menu is described as a sumptuous veal shank braised in red wine, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and onions.  Served with saffron risotto.  I say that I was being bold because I've never had veal before.  On the other hand Veal is just baby cow; which I have had plenty of beef in my lifetime, so it was like trying something new with a safety net below.  The veal was very rich and left with you a feeling of home.  I said to my husband, "This tastes like home, not my home, but someone else's home." 

I do not believe that I have ever had the seasoning saffron before either.  Trying the risotto by itself it did not really send me over the moon with flavor, but when you took a bit of the risotto and pared it with the meat you find yourself in a whole new world.  This is the ultimate man meal to me.  It is not meat and potatoes, but it is a meat and a starch which basically does the trick to be able to qualify as a man meal in my mind. 

My husband ordered the grilled filet mignon with alfredo noodles, and he said that it was very good. 

We were going to order a dessert to share, but could not make up our minds which one to choose , so we ordered the tiramisu and the crème brûlée.  Both were delightful.  The tiramisu hit levels of yumminess (This word is not in the dictionary, and should be!) I hadn't had with a tiramisu before.  Upon taking a bite of the tiramisu the coffee would flow out of it like a wave of flavor saying "..hello you...now love me...".  The sugar on the top of the crème brûlée was slightly darker than I'm used to, but while enjoying it, it reminded me of a roasted marshmallow over a camp fire.  If it was not right it might be the way to go in the future. 

I have started a new tradition at the end of larger meals I like to enjoy a cup of coffee.  It helps the digestion process, and I just plain love me some coffee!  My husband joined me in my new after-meal ritual, and he as well said he would probably do this from now on.  We felt a little like an older couple.  We now drink coffee after dinner. 

A wonderful lady stopped by our table near the end of our meal and checked on our experience.  We told her we enjoyed it immensely.  She let us know that they have wine tastings and something called "Tapas Night".  She explained that on those nights they have appetizer size food for only $5 each.  I thought this is a wonderful idea.  You get to eat multiple portions of all those appetizers as your meal that had caught my eye when ordering earlier.  I am looking forward to catching a Tapas night in the near future.  

(Please Note:  I tried really hard to take a picture of my food when I received it, but regretfully I never remember.  So here is one about three or four bites in. - Ossobuco)