i have twice sampled this beachhead fountain square restaurant in what one hopes will be growing pietoso empire.
i must initially comment that upon my approach to the square i felt i could have been at some piazza in italy. maybe not quite the fontana di trevi, but you get the idea. the city has done a remarkable job with this resurrection.
the restaurant is beautiful, visually arresting and wonderfully open to the square.
the terrace on the 2nd floor should be wonderful both in the summer and even in the winter overlooking the ice rink.
my dining experience was good if not completely consistent, ( both visits in the 1st week of opening) but the 2nd night showed a real crescendo from the 1st, particularly with the pizza- onions, and sausage. the first night not well crisped and soggy, while the 2nd night the onions were caramelized to a melt, and the crust was perfect.
the linguine pesto is sensational. perfect in every was though only gently scarred by slightly salty shrimp.
the inzimino, a traditional tuscan stew with calamari and spinach, cooked in red wine for 7-8 hours, was delicious, and might be well renamed calamari saag for those fans of indian food.
speaking of indian food cumin's -falling of the bone so fast it appears to be running-lamb shank now has a rival in chef christian pietosos. sampled 3 times, it's a consistent winner. served with a gentle, creamy, sumptuous polenta.
there are however a few blemishes.
super-super lemony salad
the staff knowledge is not quite up to par, though i'm sure this will be remedied in time.
the more vexing concern is the lack of wine storage space.
the wine i ordered a brunello di montalcino of la gerla 2001, was served at about 75-78 degrees. this is far too warm for both storage and consumption. dominic pietoso, the sommelier assures me this will be remedied soon. neither he nor i would want to have a conversation about a damaged masseto, lupicaia or any one of the fine gaja wines on the list.
this is an auspicious debut, and it's presence on the dining scene will be an important one.