Sunday, February 07, 2010

Panciuto

For my first New Year's Resolution meal, the MFRs and I went to Pancuito, in downtown Hillsborough. It takes me a mere five or six minutes to get there from my house and, now that I've been, it's comforting to know that it's there. The quality of the food, the elegance of the dining room and the service are quite befitting for the destination that Hillsborough has become in recent years.

My Second Most Faithful Reader had a pasta dish with shrimp, adame seaweed and wahoo. He commented that the shrimp were particularly well prepared. He's kind of obsessed with shrimp.

My Most Faithful Reader had the butternut squash ravioli with toasted pecans, pumpkin oil, wilted chard, breadcrumbs, grated parmesan, sage and brown butter. My list of ingredients is a little more thorough for this dish, because it's currently listed on their website. Often, I try to swipe (politely ask for) a copy of a restaurant's menu before I leave. I'm senile, you know.

There were many things on the menu that I would have been overjoyed to order, but they had duck ravioli. Duck is my favorite meat and I love ravioli, so the combination of the two was quite exciting to me, indeed. As I recall, it had pecorino cheese, which is a hard Italian cheese, made from ewe's milk. In any case, it had nice pieces of duck inside the pasta and the meat hadn't been turned into a paste. My meal was excellent.

We all shared pannettone bread pudding with cinnamon ice cream, honey and orange anglaise. This was a nice end to the meal. The entree portions are on the small side, so tackling the dessert wasn't a challenge. From my perspective small portions are ideal unless one is planning to take take half for lunch the next day, but it's important to consider that the entrees are all priced over $20.

Overall, it was a very pleasant experience. The dining room is beautiful and it's amazing how they have made a room with an old brick wall look so elegant with little white lights and exceptionally clear mirrors. The meal started out with our being served small complimentary glasses of Prosecco and ladies are encouraged to take home the carnations from the table. These flourishes make the outing feel more celebratory and I wonder if this association may actually discourage even the more affluent from frequenting the restaurant more regularly. I actually eventually realized that I didn't think of going to Anotherthyme more often was because I associated it with birthdays and similar celebrations.

I do look forward to trying more items from their menu. They frequently have "community dinners" where they set up a long table with communal dining and a prix fixe menu, as always, featuring produce and meats from local farmers. You can subscribe to their mailing list to learn more about them.

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