At the recommendation of a reader, Jeremy and I wandered into one recent evening for dinner.
When we saw the candled tables and chandelier-like light fixtures we feared being under-dressed — we were both in nice jeans; he had on a dress shirt and I a sweater — but were immediately relieved when the gentleman at the table next to us was also sporting denim. It’s definitely a dressier atmosphere than what we had expected and a return visit would have us leaving the jeans at home. For a weeknight, the dining room was busy, and we were by far the youngest in the crowd.
Jeremy was rather impressed by the oil and vinegar pourer on the table, and to give him credit it was clever. Just a few inches tall and made of glass, it held both the oil and vinegar at once but kept them separated, the vinegar on the inside in a section shaped like a bunch of grapes. It was a sweet, unique touch to the table. We were immediately brought a basket of different types of fresh, warm bread and so we put the oil and vinegar to work.
We both ordered salads – Jeremy his usual Caesar and I the warmed pear salad. Jeremy’s was agreeable with Parmesan cheese and crouton accents. My pear salad was an interesting concept with its warm pears on a bed of greens, however, the pears warmed and wilted the greens on which they sat.
The table was set in a traditional, classic style with cut crystal-looking water glasses and candles and a white-on-black tablecloth combination. However, our white tablecloth was stained in spots and had several holes, one nearly the size of a dime, and one of our glasses was chipped and cracking. The dishware was confused; the water goblets clashed with the scratched, generic bread plates and the black, triangular, modern plate on which my salad was presented. It was an eclectic combination of styles.
Our breaded zucchini appetizer and Jeremy’s chicken parmesan dinner were unusually greasy — a pool of grease gathered on the plate under the zucchini and droplets of grease from the breading of his chicken mixed with the marinara sauce on his dinner plate. He chose the fresh vegetable side with his entrée and was presented with brussels sprouts that were indeed fresh but also undercooked.
I had better luck with my entree — cheese tortellini in a tart marinara sauce, and the portion size was generous enough that I took my leftovers for lunch the next day.
Certainly every restaurant has its off days, and we had heard so many positives about Piccolina’s that we were really looking forward to the visit. As always, we’ll give it another shot in the future.