I’ve been wondering how Davanti Enoteca has improved since my first experience during its earlier days. Reminiscing on my first time, I recall the dessert being some of the best, but unimpressive food. Considering there aren’t enough great restaurants in the Little Italy neighborhood, I gave it another chance.
They’ve done a nice job on atmosphere. Definitely a date-night spot that is aesthetically pleasant with crafty lighting fixtures, exposed brick, and an open cooking area. There are pros and cons to everything of course.
Good wine and champagne with reasonable prices, but nearly impossible to order anything well balanced or nutritious. The menu is seriously lacking vegetarian options and vegetables in general. Plus, all of the salads are cheese or oil laden. Thankfully, during my visit, the chef was kind enough to attempt an off the menu creation in an attempt at healthy. A beautifully crafted, thick ribbon like fennel salad appeared. Unfortunately, things that taste bad do not equate to beauty in the food arena. An oily mess a top the pretty ribbons tasted terrible and added as much fat as consuming a cheeseburger. Luckily, the grilled octopus, ordered a la Carte although not listed on the menu that way, was outstanding. It came out looking healthy and uninhibited; A large tentacle, suction cups exposed, served over thinly sliced, greasy asparagus with undiscerning flavor. Next course was rigatoni. The gravy was creamy and edible, yet seriously lacking flavor, especially when compared to the former La Vita’s rigatoni arrabiata with Pancetta. However, I must say, the oversized noodles were perfectly cooked; Italian aldente without even having to request it, the true way all pasta should be served. The mascarpone polenta + ragu of the day was deliciously creamy and tasted good (if you’re into that), but the meat, while super saucy, tasted a bit dry. There are still quite a few items on the menu that sound wonderful. Maybe we just ordered the wrong things.