recently the girls and i have decided to start a monthly dinner club. last night was the inaugural dinner and we had 8 girls attend. the usual characters that you all have met (muffin, court, the georgia peach, dr wild, MOB) and a few you have yet to make the acquaintance of (jilly, LA and cubby's better half) all got together and dined at dante.
dante is the brainchild of the chef that gave it his namesake dante boccuzzi, the musician entrepreneur was more than generous with his time in talking to our table last night. the georgia peach mentioned to him (after our bottle of pino was finished) that i had a blog and was planning on writing up my visit. of course dante blushed and made sure i was going to write all good things. he also promised to read my post... you out there dante?
for starters, the rain (or dr wild's newly broken knee) couldn't stop our trek to valley view. more often than not when i dine out i stick to the warehouse district, tremont and ohio city. those locations all have plenty of options to entice my taste buds over and over, so for me to want to hit up valley view i must have been hearing good things about dante.
now is where i am going to ask you to check out the cleveland foodie's take on dante (she's the professional food critic not i). check out her post here.
so we arrive at dante and are seated at a beautiful large wood table in the bar area, i personally think it was the best table in the place (dante obviously heard that we were ballers). excited to be there we all begin to dive into the menu, and our wine. now i had heard about the pasta tastings and had planned on making a few of them as my entree. but for starters the group tried out the goat cheese fritters, the calamari (which had a great spicy kick to it) and the fingerling potato salad with pickled onions (love them), a bacon heavy vinaigrette and a poached egg on top. one would think stranger combo right? but it worked
oh! i forgot the best part! before the starters the chef presented us all with a large shot glass full of fennel cream soup with a basil infused oil drizzle on top. (i had to remind MOB that we weren't at the public house and that the soup was for sipping not shooting). as we sipped the oo's and ah's made their way around the table. it was the perfect amous bouche. (poo poo, did i use that french correctly?)
so the shot of soup was wonderful, the starters were delicious and now it was time for the entrees. dante has this 3 size option that you can choose with any of the pasta dishes. $4 for a tasting, $8 for a starter and $18 for a main course. talk about a deal, and a great option for someone like me who wants a bit of everything. it's like a 5 star pasta buffet! so obviously i had to try the tasting portions and went with the short rib cavatelli, the potato ravioli with chicken livers (yum!) and the truffled tagliatelle carbonara. all wonderful. my friends that had the gnocchi also raved.
unfortunatly i have one complaint. two of my pasta tastings were luke warm at best. i have a pretty good palette and i knew the flavors were there and it tasted glorious i just wish it didn't seem like the pasta had been sitting while they finished up a different entree or something.
dessert time! so by now everyone was full, but not me, fatty wanted some dessert. obviously i shared. i got the trio of caramel creme (i wish i remembered the formal name). the dessert consisted of a cinnamon caramel ice cream, a flan/custard dish with a great spun sugar accent, and three mini beignets coated in sugar. mm mm good!
the ambiance was excellent, the wait staff was extremely attentive and friendly, plus there was free valet parking! score.
all in all a great experience and i would recommend it to anyone.
ladies, it was a lovely evening and i can't wait till february's dinner club! (i'll get to the evite this week i promise!)