July 14: Noce ★★★
Another three-star Italian restaurant with a lengthy wine list (though not much else) and a menu to echo the ubiquitous high-end diners of Italy. It has none of the pizzazz of Aria, its offspring, but much of the same food. Hemi-spheres of tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella sat exquisitely in a hemispherical bowl. The blob of cheese is stretchy but dissipates beautifully with the unseen rocks of Sicilian salt. And where the appetizer was delicate, the main was coarse. An indiscriminating chef goes to town with a vegetable shaver; the salad was burnt and a trail of red pepper dressing was hard to follow. It reminds of corporate quick-serve barbeques. The dessert falls under the whipped-cream galore that is oft-present in summerlicious, though the minty chocolate and pulverized strawberries redeem the dish.
Mozzarella di Bufala
Imported fresh buffalo’s milk mozzeralla from Puglia, vine ripened cherry tomatoes, basil, olive oil and Ravida sea salt from Sicily (vegetarian)
Roman Style Grilled Rock Cornish Hen
Shaved fennel, carrot, and arugula salad with roasted red pepper dressing and grilled lemon
Valhronna Dark Chocolate Mousse
Macerated strawberries and whipped cream (vegetarian)