Macchialina Taverna Rustica
Last night Lauren, Lindsay and I went to Macchialina, which is the Pubbelly gang's new place that opened at 8th and Alton, where Sylvano used to be. It's Italian food. It's pretty awesome.
This post is going to be short and sweet, because I feel like death, but that's just because I downed two bottles of wine at Macchialina, and then a liter of beer at Hoffbrau, and then a Delirium at the Abbey. So, today's not gonna be a good day.
But last night was good. In fact, it was delicious. Macchialina doesn't take reservations, so we sidled up to the bar and drank a bottle of wine while we waited the hour for our table. The barternders were really nice, and took us on a little tasting flight of the wines that they had so we could choose which we liked. While we were at the bar, we noticed that everyone, EVERYONE that works at the restaurant is really attractive. And nice. So... there's eyecandy. Friendly eyecandy.
The negatives: It's very small, and it's very loud. Once it takes off, good luck getting a table there, I'd say, especially since the diners seemed to be of the "camping" variety. But maybe that's because the people watching there was really good. I'm not sure. Also, the Broccolini. We ordered a little dish of that and it was pretty awful - it came with a hardboiled egg on it and some grated cheese on top. It was bitter (all the broccolini I've had lately has been extremely bitter... I guess I had a spate of good luck with broccolini before now...) So, that was sort of disappointing. Their desserts aren't anything to write home about, either. A berry strudel we got came in an adorable little braid, that tasted like soap and rosemary. A banana bread pudding needed some chocolate chips in it. Last, their portions are on the small side, and on the expensive side for what you get. L and L both said it was more like Barceloneta where it's a bit more costly and the dishes are smaller, than like Pubbelly where you can eat until you're gonna burst, and only come out with a $50 check per person...
Now for the positives: For starters, we got some fried olives, which are big pitless green olives rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. They were fantastic, even though they were served with some unmemorable sauce. We got a pasta and meatballs dish -- I'm assuming these meatballs were made of veal cheek and pork. The meatballs were heavenly - super light and nom-worthy. We got the shortrib lasagna - also very tasty (I'm not going into great detail about these dishes because... it's pasta and meatballs and lasagna with short rib, both of them in red sauce - what more can be said?) The undisputed star of the meal was something so simple - rustic (BUTTERY GARLICKY) toast slices served with a dish of fondue. OMG. I get tired of fondue after about three bites, but I could have housed an entire order of this by myself. We almost ordered another one, it was so good, but instead, we ordered another round of toast (for $2) to finish off the "fonduta," which was soooooo creamy and garlicky and lemony and just... just fantastic.
So there you have it. Check this place out before it gets completely impossible to get a table. Now I'm off to eat a bottle of aspirin and drink eighty coconut waters.