I recently had the good fortune to experience La Quercia with five friends. We opted for the $50 per person dinner that included multiple platters of antipasta, fish, pasta, meat, and dessert.
The antipasta course consisted of tonnato, carpaccio with arugula and shaved parmesan, and eggplant sformata (orgasmic) with sweet tomato coulis. All were presented simply with the individual flavors of the quality ingredients coming through beautifully.
The fish course was seared trout with an asparagus puree. The fish was fresh and not overdone in the least, and the puree complemented it beautifully.
The pasta course was a trio of platters… gnocchi in a porcini mushroom sauce, penne with Bolognese sauce, and agnolotti stuffed with chard and asiago in a butter sauce. All were delicious with the pasta being center stage and not drowned in too much sauce.
The first meat platter was lamb loin served on a bed of lentils du puy. The loin was cooked perfectly – medium rare – and the earthiness of the lentils worked wonderfully with the gaminess of the lamb.
At this point, our attentive server inquired if we were full or if we’d like another meat course! All of us, while not overly hungry at this point, decided on another meat course, and a veal scallopini with tallegio cheese in a marsala sauce appeared. It was again delicious, the meat perfectly cooked and moist.
The dessert platters were slices of ricotta cheesecake (absolutely to die for) and plum tart, and a chocolate jelly.
With only about thirty seats in this small restaurant, the owner did an absolutely fantastic job of getting our food and our wine to us in good order. His wine recommendations were all excellent and very affordable, most in the forty dollar range. La Quercia’s wine list, although limited, does pride itself in regional wines from northern Italy. The ambience of the restaurant is great! Although it was full from the moment we arrived until we left, we were able to easily carry on a conversation throughout the evening.
All in all, this was a memorable evening at a restaurant that obviously loves the quality of the food, wine, and service it offers its customers. A fantastic value… I’ll definitely be back soon.