Thursday, August 07, 2008

Salento

Dave's Take:

OK so this time I was really in the mood for some Pasta. For the few readers of this blog, it must be hard to believe but it was true. I was imagining some tasty treat like parpardelli pasta with rabiit ragu or something of the like and the from the reviews I read I was excited.
I usually expand on my reviews but I'm going to keep this one short. I will never go back to Salento. My appitizer was a meat ragu and they took that very litterally. It tasted like meat sauce from a jar. Flat and acidic. It was very dissapointing. Next up was my entree, a pork loin. I have had better roast pork at street vendors. Sauce was tastless and at the same time was overpowered by salt and pepper.

1 very disapointed Dave's out of 4

In other news, recently went to Osteria again. It was awesome but that's was already reviewed. Just thought I needed some positivity here.

Jess' Take:

What can I say? I just know how to order. While my dining companions were very unhappy with their food at Salento – I was satisfied (though not delighted as I had expected to be). I started with the Orecchiette Al' Anatra – a pasta with shredded braised duck, thyme, shaved grana. Delish. Very decadent and flavorful. And the perfect portion size, generous for a first course, but not too much.

For my second course I decided on the Coda Di Rospo, prosciutto wrapped monkfish medallions, white wine, shitake broth, mashed potatoes with leeks, sugar snap peas. Although I’ve certainly had better monkfish, the prosciutto enhanced the flavor of the dish. The monkfish itself proved to be a little chewy, when I would rather it easily break apart with my fork. Again, a good portion size. I was appropriately full without being stuffed. While my first course was excellent, alas it is not enough to bring me back to Salento.

I rate Salento a 2 out of 4. I’ll agree with Dave – if you’re in the mood for some mouthwatering Northern Italian grub, hit up Osteria.

Wade's Take:
Salento did me wrong. I didn’t even have high expectations, but this semi-new Italian place on Chestnut near Rittenhouse Square just didn’t perform.

My appetizer was octopus that was swimming in a white balsamic vinegar with onions and potatoes. It had the essence of a Genuardi’s potato salad, with tentacles. The whole dish had too much tang; the vinegar was tart and alone in its flavor. The octopus chewed slowly it my mouth, it was overcooked and rubber.

My entrée was forgettable. It took me a few moments to even recall what it was as I sat down to write this, some 4 hours later. I had the balsamico skirt steak with potato, balsamic drizzle, and green beans. Again, too tart for my taste buds. The potato was good, but nothing close to what I’ve had at any one of the eight restaurants we’ve blogged about thus far this year.

Desert was a chocolate torte with raspberry drizzle. The drizzle was canned. The cake was dense and rich… my favorite, but was so different than the rest of my meal I’m quite certain it wasn’t made on site.

Salento’s atmosphere feels like the place was just finished a few days earlier. It even still smells like fresh cut lumber. The room was vastly open, and not cozy at all. The lighting was bright, but felt artificial and harsh on the eyes.

What a complainer I am! But in a city of great eats, Salento just doesn’t shine.

One out of four tart tastes.

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