#49 Osteria Morini
Lumache verde $19
A tidy portion of home made spinach pasta in a rich ragu sauce. Tender pieces of lamb mixed with green peas, halved black olives and a lemon thyme sauce. Accented with piquant chili flakes and hot black peppercorns. Garnished with a generous amount of shaved ricotta salata, which is a variation of ricotta that has been pressed, salted and dried. The salata has a salty, nutty and milky flavor, adding an extra and enjoyable element to this hearty and interesting pasta. Well portioned, pleasantly seasoned and very enjoyable.
Torrone semifreddo $11
This unusual dish was an icy chunk of cream that I left almost untouched. The hard slice of white chocolate-almond semifreddo was so bland and crystalized that it seemed as if it had been frozen multiple times. While it was dotted with nuts, there was little evidence of white chocolate. The apricot bites were sharp and sweet but, when mixed with the tart meyer lemon granita and the juicy chunks of grapefruit, they entirely overwhelmed the creamy semifreddo. The sparse sprigs of candied fennel (which tasted more of sugar than fennel) seemed to be unnecessary additions that further confused a cacophony of flavors. Unfortunately, this was my least favorite dessert I’ve had so far.
Overall, the rustic Italian fare at Chef Michael White’s Osteria Morini is quite delicious. It’s hearty, authentic, Italian cooking that brings decadent amounts of butter and cream to traditional dishes. On all the other occasions I’ve eaten here, I’ve been very pleased with my meal. This time, the pasta hit the spot but the dessert was really unimpressive. It seemed to be a lazy mixture of tired flavors and certainly didn’t do justice to the true quality of the restaurant. With this in mind, I’ll certainly be coming back, but I’ll probably skip the dessert when I do.
218 Lafayette St.