funkyfood Posted October 26, 2018 Share Posted October 26, 2018 This new massive restaurant from the owner of Masseria opened last week on the Wharf, so we went last night. The entrance is right on Maine Avenue, unlike the majority of the restaurants on the Wharf. You walk into a relatively casual café and market, and are led to your table upstairs to a swankier dining room. The room was a little too brightly lit for our tastes, but I know many complain about rooms being too dark, so we may be in the minority. We started with a decent bourbon and amaro cocktail to start, followed by delicious buffalo mozzarella and figs stuffed with ricotta and nduja. We then split a delicious pasta (note: I am FAR from a pasta snob/expert, so others may disagree) filled with cauliflower with a hint of anchovy before our entrees: decadent tortellini filled with fall squash for my fiancé, and a whole branzino with a dill-lemon emulsion for the entrée. My branzino was very good but unexciting (to be clear, I didn't expect it to be exciting when I ordered it), and the sauce was tangy and refreshing. The tortellini was fantastic and a decent portion; the parmesan on it reminded me, in the best way, of the nostalgia of the Kraft pre-grated cheese in the green container that we all grew up with. The side of beets we got with mint, oranges and fennel was a HUGE portion for $10. Lastly, we shared a rhum cake with freshly whipped cream that was outstanding. Service was super friendly and, for the most part, knowledgeable. Our waitress was quite engaging and glad to show off her knowledge of the menu. One quirk: we mentioned during our meal that we wanted to check out the vaunted "Amaro Library" after dinner. Before our entrees came, our waitress said they had spots open and that we should go now. We resisted a bit because we were happy at our table and didn't want all the food to have to be brought to the bar, but she was pretty insistent, saying that the bar would likely fill up soon. So we went, regretfully so. I love eating at the bar alone, but it made it difficult to carry on as nice of a conversation when we weren't sitting face-to-face. Worse, the bartender, who was otherwise perfectly nice, was a bit stressed out about all the tickets coming in from the waiters, and got a bit snippy with them, which dampened the mood a bit. As for the amaro bar itself, we were let down. Despite having an interesting-looking collection, there was no menu, so we didn't know what was available and what flavors they had. The friendly bartender revealed that he had limited knowledge of the actual amari and had to defer to a colleague for some help. We liked what we ended up getting, but were disappointed considering how much they've hyped up their amaro bar. The selection and knowledge at Little Coco's is much better, at least for now. The crowd, by the way, was extremely Sceney, the same type of crowd you'd find at RPM or Nobu. Not sure what it is about the Wharf that attracts these crowds (not that I totally dislike it), but it's starkly different from the people you'd see at other restaurants in the city. 4 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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