Yet another recent Scoutmob inspired meal was at Pacci in Midtown. I attended a media brunch months ago, but this was my first visit to Pacci for dinner. I’ve heard good things about Pacci lately, so I was very much looking forward to this dinner with my friend Brandon, also a wino. I’m actually meeting up with Brandon (and then later, Hardy of Dirty South Wine) in Napa Valley & Sonoma this weekend for a quick post-race vacation. I plan on getting fat and highfalutin drunk. If Hardy has to “shush” me in the middle of a meal at a 2 star Michelin restaurant such as Cyrus, I’ll know I’ve achieved my goal.
Which brings me to my appetizer, the kobe beef carpaccio, which is super thin, meltingly tender, and dreamy. The salad atop these heavenly cuts can be pushed aside easily.
We also tried a hot appetizer with clams and mussels in a bread-friendly sweet and creamy anise flavored broth. This was another winner with plenty of tasty shellfish, even if the sauce was a touch too sweet.
What could be deemed the simplest dish we sampled, the papardelle bolognese, is in my running for dish of the evening. Fresh al dente ribbons of pasta, hearty and tangy sauce, and some cheese…that’s it. The sauce wasn’t really quite that color, this is just the best I could do with my camera considering how low the lighting was in the plush bromantic booth we shared.
Similar to my risotto at Sotto Sotto, the mushroom risotto distracted me with its banal use of truffle oil. The fried egg was an unorthodox but welcome addition though.
The short rib dish was…a braised short rib. I don’t order them often lately. Short ribs are good but tend to be very similar from restaurant to restaurant. But if you are feeling like a short rib, it won’t disappoint.
The veal chop special with quinoa and a questionable amount of hollandaise was something to be seen. The amazingly large hunk of tender calf was cooked wonderfully, and really I would have been pleased if they had just served me this steak on its own, maybe with an accompaniment of asparagus with that hollandaise diverted to some place where it belongs. Or perhaps a side of their finest jelly beans.
We brought in our own wine, including this ’07 Copain James Berry Syrah. Quite elegant Cali syrah, though young. I also brought in one of Sebastien Riffault’s crazy freaky unfiltered Sancerres. Rich honey, acid, and fun in a glass.
When Brandon made the reservation, they told us they’d waive corkage. I’m not sure why, but I’ll take it.