Monteverde is a large place on a corner so two sides have windows to the street. Walls are decorated with pizza peels and mirrors and a really long bar adds seating. High top tables sit opposite the bar, that is decorated with hanging pasta, TVs and windows into the rest of the kitchen. On one end is the pastry chef and cabinets of their labors. The main dining room is filled with closely set small bare wood tables, benches and chairs as well a good sized area of pasta and cookware items for sale. The menu is all a la carte and many items are designed to be shared. We ordered a lot of things to try and intended to share all. Some were quite good but others were really lacking. Pacing for all was extremely rapid and plates and flatware were not replaced between several of the courses. Service tried hard and they did refund the price of 2 unacceptable items as well as bring a complimentary dessert. This place was really bustling, so more is good than not but they also have some kinks to work on.
While looking over the menu they brought out really long thin breadsticks. They were nicely crisp but mildly flavored.
The Olive Ascolane is fried stuffed olives, goat cheese, sausage, Dijon aioli, rosemary and Miele Thun honey. There were 4 pieces in the order. The olives were stuffed with cheese and wrapped in sausage then deep fried and served on a base of aioli. They had a hint of spice and were pretty tasty.
The Tuscan Kale Salad was served with charred onion tahini vin, apple endive, feta, seeded rye bread and toasted seeds. The nice chewy kale mixed well with the mild radish and apples. It was well dressed and filled with textures, especially crunchy ones. It was a good mix of textures and flavors.
PBT! is prosciutto butter, seeded rye toast, radish, lemon marmellata and is sold per piece. It was rye toast topped with prosciutto and then with radishes. It looked really pretty but was next to impossible to eat, the proscuitto pulled in solid pieces and the radishes were also hard to bite through. It also had very little flavor. Two pieces of this was too much and it was one of the items taken off the bill.
Lillian’s Stuffed cabbage was porcini bolognese, crispy polenta, brown butter and was offered with an optional fried duck egg, which we did not order. The savoy cabbage was cooked nicely but still quite tough to cut but filled with silky consistency meat sauce. The crispy polenta bits were my favorite parts – fried crispy on the outside and filled with yummy corn goodness. However again it was decorated with an excessive number of tasteless radishes. They were too crisp and didn’t blend well with the well cooked main portion. Also I found it just plain repetitive.
The Gnocchetti con Pesto was with housemade ricotta, basil, Tuscan pinenuts and pecorino. We got a half order of this one. The gnocchi were creamy and the pesto tasty, all topped with some good toasted pinenuts. This was a good, rich pasta and when placing on the table, we were instructed to not stir it, just scoop out what you want. It was totally satisfying.
The Bolognese was made with hand cut pappardelle, tre carne ragu and parmesan. The rich velvety meaty sauce coated the tender pasta nicely. The pasta was a good thickness and well cooked. This was a good rendition of a classic dish.
The Cacio Whey Pepe was with Mancini bucatini, pecorino Romano, ricotta whey and a four peppercorn blend. It was to be tossed at the table. The thick sticky cheese sauce just got stiffer and stiffer and some of the pasta was not totally cooked. The pepper seasoning was nice as was the overall taste but the texture was a huge problem with this dish. It ended up more like a mac and cheese casserole and was the other dish refunded.
For dessert we tried the Chocolate Dipped Forgotten Cookie which are sold by the piece. They are made with toasted coconut, dark chocolate and meringue. The meringue was made with coconut and then dipped in good chocolate. They had a wonderful crispy side and some extra chocolate chips inside. They were from somebody’s grandmother’s recipe. Very good.
The manager also brought the Ricotta Cannoli which are made with marsala, pistachio, candied orange, cocoa nibs and filled to order. The totally crisp shell was filled with creamy goodness and accented with cocoa nibs on one end and pistachios on the other. The plate was decorated with even more chocolate and some candied orange peel that was quite good. Another excellent rendition of a classic.