You may think I am always in a cooking mood. Nope! Only when I have an idea of what I want to eat or have inspiration from a cookbook or magazine and the foresight to procure ingredients. Lots of times WSH just "handles it." Sometimes we treat ourselves to a meal out, which is what happened last night. We visited Trattoria One-41 for I guess about the 4th time -- and sorry-- I don't take pictures of food in restaurants - they would be unviewable anyway LOL. For those of you in this area, it is located on 141 (get it?) just north of the intersection with Medlock/State Bridge. It's a small place but very cozy, nicely appointed and comfortable. No doubt this is not geared for a young hip crowd, but it isn't a blue hair place either. They serve dinner only and request that only children over 14 be brought along. From our experience, the service has always been friendly, knowledgeable and just the right amount of attentive. No hovering, no disappearing. There is a decent wine list and maybe other beverages but I never read past the white wines, so I couldn't tell ya.
Soon after you are seated they bring out some fresh from the oven bread, crunchy crust and soft inside (maybe ciabatta,, not sure) and with this bread comes something truly amazing. Its a spicy tomato sauce with some basil and a glob of goat cheese in it. Now I confess those who know me, know I HATE HATE! goat cheese, it usually tastes the way goats smell... But not this cheese.. it is subtle and very very creamy and blends perfectly with the spicy tomato sauce. I have considered asking the name of the cheese, but decided I don't want to know. I want it to be a special thing I can only get here.. It's sooooo good.
We started with the antipasti which the menu said was for two but could have easily fed four. Presented on a board, we received olives, 3 kinds of cheeses, some red and white grapes (which we think were wine grapes- not sweet like supermarket grapes) and some really fine meat products. There was fried pancetta, which we arm wrestled over, there was a lovely prosciutto, some mortadella and beef carpaccio and a couple of slices of different types of cured meats i.e. salami. Wonderful flavors, perfectly complementing each other.
For our main dishes I chose the Chicken Marsala and WSH the Cannelloni. The chicken wasn't flat pounded breast as is usually done, it was the breast filet but with the wing bone attached. Perfectly seasoned with herbs and resting on a bed of creamy cheesy polenta with the perfect Marsala sauce over all. It was very tender and so rich with flavors, a little sweetness from the marsala, the earthy mushrooms and the creamy polenta. Yum!
The Cannelloni is stuffed with braised beef short rib meat, garnished with blue cheese and served with a bechamel sauce and the braising jus. This is usually what I get but I wanted to try something different. It was as tasty as I remembered when I sampled it last night. Since we didn't order a salad we shared a side plate of garlicky sauteed spinach which was very simple but very tasty.
Needless to say we took home leftovers. But it was a reasonably priced dinner with great service in a relaxed atmosphere. If you live around me, give them a try! You can check their menu in the link.
See you soon, will start cooking Easter in the next day or so.