Monday, March 31, 2008

Hostaria Da Elio

Dave's Take:

OK- I'm going to through it out there. The traditional Philly Italian with strong Sicilian influence just isn't my thing. I didn't grow up Italian (Irish) and didn't get the deep routed nostalgia of grandma's home made gravy (red sauce). So maybe I cannot appreciate it as much, or, maybe I'm objective. I'm not from Indonesia and yet I flip over that cuisine. There is some foreshadowing here......

OK- to the food. App. I got a simple green salad. It was good. Let's move on. I didn't want pasta and my ears perked up through the seemingly endless specials when I heard bone roasted veal chop in a mushroom sauce. Hot Damn! I thought. I can get over eating baby cows if they're tasty. The food looked fantastic when it came out but was just OK. It was not great. The sauce was one of those stock reductions that was so concentrated it would have overpowered rotting trash. Very salty and way too strong. No signs of thoughtful flavoring or attention to detail. The veal was cooked well and was tender. I will give it that, but overall, it likened going to someone's house for some mediocre osso bucco. Sure, it's not going to be bad, but it can be a far cry from the deliciousness it should be. At this point I'm thinking, I'll give it an OK review, until the check came. It was $30. Now, I don't have a problem order a $30 entree, but it better be damn good, not just mediocre.

Hostaria Da Elio, may we never meet again except when I pass you to go to Gayle or Ansill. 1 out of 4 sad Dave's

Wade's Take:
Hosteria Da Elio really ended up seeming like Hosteria Da NO-NO. Yes, it’s a bad pun, but I’m not investing the time to come up with a witticism on this one. I’m just eager to pound this review out and be done with it.

We didn’t like the place. I found some tastier items on the menu, but my companions weren’t so lucky. To be fair, the specials list was immense, which gives me the sense that we might have just ordered incorrectly. However, Jess’ pasta and Dave’s entrée were strong enough missteps to warrant this so-so review.

My appetizer was a beef carpaccio with capers, greens, and a reggiano cheese. You may know my rule with capers (“nothing can go wrong when caper are involved”), and it did prove to be a strong axiom once more. The carpaccio was sliced to perfection, and well balanced with the cheese.

My entrée was a wild boar sausage, grilled well and served with asparagus and mashed potaters. The sausage pulled salty on the tongue, but the smoked flavor was on target.

The atmosphere was great at first, with a personable, well spirited hostess, small tables and laid-back feel. Then the music started. We heard all the classic Italian orchestrated staples… including the Godfather theme. I felt like we had landed in Buca di Beppo, not a legitimate mom ‘n pop Italian joint. Such a small detail would be no matter normally, but coupled with the mediocre meal it was another unexpected disappointment.

2 out of 4 specials lists.

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