Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Monkey Bob Has Another Great Meal in East Hampton!

The gods must be smiling upon me. Never before have I struck gastronomical gold twice in the same week. Last night I had an unsurpassed meal at The 1770 House in East Hampton, NY. Tonight I dined, with family, at cittanuova, (also in East Hampton) and again the meal was superb! By the way, both restaurants are owned by the same people.

The cittanuova experience is very different from the 1770 House. While the latter provides a more formal dining environment, Cittanuova presents trattoria style dining. But that's OK too, as long as the food is good. And it was!

Zulfia, who is new to cittanuova, provided us with first class service, and was also very helpful with our wine selection. Because I am not familiar with Italian wines, I relied on Zulfia to select a full bodied red for us. She chose a Dolcetto di Dogliani, 2004, which was delightful. My first perception of this wine was of grape juice, but as it lingered on my tongue, the flavor morphed into a melange of dry and fruity sensations that were most pleasant. Cittanuova's menu describes it as "wild fruit, with a note of spice and minerality - long finish", which I think was "right on the money".

Cittanuova serves their wine in cylindrical glasses, which resemble juice cups. No Reidel at this restaurant. But this was OK, because that's the way that people drink wine in Italian trattorias. Most of the time, Italians drink table wine, which is usually served in carafes. They only bring out the bottled wine (and traditional wine crystal) at high end restaurants. I was therefore able to enjoy my wine because I understood that its presentation reflected an authentic Italian custom.

For my main course I chose the Filetti di Passera, which was described as "pan fried local fluke, brown butter, caper berries, lemon and parsley". The fish was cooked to perfection, and the outer shell of carmelized ingredients provided an excellent culinary counterpoint to the fluke's natural flavor.

I skipped dessert, because I am now at the last notch on my belt, and I don't want to cross that threshold into the next larger pants size. However, I did have a decaf cappuccino, which was most satifying, and which provided a perfect punctuation to the meal.

Both The 1770 House and cittanuova have excellent websites that appear to have been designed by the same company. They both have a polished appearance, with some wonderful photographs, which make these restaurants look very appealing.

Monkey Prose Rating: I give Cittanuova 4 bananas. If you like informal trattoria style restaurants (and good food), then you will definitely enjoy Cittanuova. I hope that Zulfia sticks around to provide her excellent service to this summer's diners. I definitely plan to be one of them!

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