For my third DOVF event this year, Hitman and I were invited by Sharon of Eat, Drink, Travel to join her at Ask for Luigi. Theirs is the $28 menu. I was especially excited to try their homemade pasta.
It was very very small in there, and only had one bathroom. Good thing we made reservations (even though Dine Out’s website says Ask for Luigi doesn’t take them, this seems to be a mix-up) because when we arrived as they opened at 5:30pm, we overheard the staff telling the people who didn’t have reservations that it would be a 1.5-2 hour wait. Here’s the official word from Ask for Luigi’s website: RESERVATIONS ARE AVAILABLE AND WALK-INS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.
Hitman is still recovering from gum graft surgery, so he picked the softly textured Buffalo Mozzarella with Castelvetrano olives (Hitman loved these), fresh basil, and house-made bread. He says there was just the right amount of cheese for the homemade bread, and that it was well seasoned with just olive oil, salt and pepper. I tried a bite too; it was soft and mild. We both especially liked the sprigs of baby basil…Super cute!!
I got the Carpaccio with Salsa Verde, Piave Vecchio and crispy shallots. I thought there was too much going on as you can see… The combination of Salsa Verde and copious amounts of capers made the dish quite salty and tart, and overwhelmed the thin slices of beef so much that they couldn’t be tasted. The texture of the beef was retained though.
For entrees we all got different things. Hitman’s Tagliatelle and Mussels with broccoli, white wine and butter was….salty. The dish as a whole was just over salted and no real depth of flavor. It was just salty mixed with a bit of spice from a smattering of chili and that’s about it.
On the plus side, the mussels were plump and cooked to the perfect texture and the homemade pasta had a very nice and different texture you can’t get from the dried version.
I got the Pappardelle with classic bolognese sauce and fresh Parmesan. This was originally Hitman’s first choice, but again his mouth can’t take the acidity at this time.
I must say this was a very pleasant surprise. The sauce was not overly tart with pieces of ground beef here and there. The pappardelle was firmer than the version I had at Merchant’s Oyster Bar (I think I still prefer that version)
I should also note that both our dishes were finished with more sprigs of baby basil…which we enjoyed very much.
Sharon had the Mushroom Risotto with mascarpone and truffle oil. She graciously let me try some. Unfortunately this was a let down too. We both agreed that the risotto was not cooked properly as there were lots of crunchy and hard pieces.
Finally dessert time! Hitman’s Olive Oil Cake with confit orange and whipped ricotta was light and refreshing. He especially liked the ricotta and (again) the baby basil (seems to be on everything they serve!!).
Sharon and I both had the Panna Cotta with red wine, poached prunes, and biscotti. It was DIVINE. It had the perfect jiggle and was so creamy and full of vanilla flavor. The prunes were sweet and tart and complimented the plain pudding very well. As for the biscotti, it was cute, but I’ve never been a big fan of biscottis. Aside from that, hands down the dessert was my favorite dish of the night.
Overall, I think I was disappointed with Ask for Luigi. Or maybe my expectations were too high?
Free street parking available along Railway Street.
– 1 hour 9am-6pm
– unlimited after 6pm