Budgeted Romance Needs 'Inoteca

20 May 2009

inoteca vino e cucina

Wow have I been deprived of romantic wining and dining, and consequently wining about it to anyone in earshot. This economy has Romeo and I restrained to my cooking, although obviously delectable hence the food review gig, or pizza. Well I couldn’t bear another night of it and racked my brain for an affordable alternative. ‘Inoteca’s chattiness falls short of the quixotic atmosphere I yearned for (yes, yearned), but what it lacks in fantasy it makes up for with amour and of course, vino.

Italian Wine RegionsThe comprehensive list of over 600 Italian wines bears something for every wallet size. If overwhelming length mutes the romance, skip the list and describe to your server the kind of wine you like. The waitstaff will gracefully steer you in an appropriate direction.  The Italian words tend to run together, so have your waiter write the wine you order. Had someone told us that, I could recommend our choice. Next time.

We started with the grilled calamari salad with fennel, capers, roma tomatoes and gremolata, followed by the creamy ricotta bruschette. I was jonesing for the polenta, and although said beau had reservations, he was pleased with the outcome. Crispy on the outside and a tad bit grainy, the polenta is currently served with a poached egg, pancetta, parmesan and charred ramps, which resemble elongated spinach crossed with chard.  This is my favorite dish. Our fish (halibut? bass?) served grilled with baby artichokes, new potatoes and tomatoes though very good was outshone by the polenta.

I swore off sweet things for the month of May but couldn’t resist a Nutella panini the server recommended to finish our vino. Around that time I think I said “I love you,” for the staff are ‘Inoteca. Sure they’re required to know the extensive wine list and Italian translation, but are they also required to be so freakin’ nice? When the bill came it was a mere 86 bones, 41 of which purchased the vino. Our dinner was just $45? Now that is what I like to call affordable romance.

98 Rivington @ Ludlow  Open Daily  212.614.0473

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Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 11:40 PM
bargain news , Restaurants |

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