Ok, so it was a pre-Christmas get together, not so much an extravaganza. Where to go this year? With a K & K trip to Italy pending, with lots of choices what better place to choose than Il Vecchio, the new Italian kid on the block in Pacific Grove. Kiwi was glad they had booked ahead because the place was bustling on a Friday evening. We eyed the wine bar as we were escorted to our table. Our significant others warned us about stopping with the look!
The decor is shabby chic with lots of distressed paint on antique looking windows and panels. Very cosy. The wait staff was fun, friendly and helpful, which was a good thing as Kiwi is hopeless at choosing from Italian menus. Zuppa, insalate, contorni...it's like a whole foreign language!
But wait, let's start at the beginning...we were enticed with fresh bread to dip in EVOO and balsamic vinegar with fresh roasted bell peppers. We asked for red wine recommendations and were pleased to be able to sample before we bought. What a great idea! Koala preferred the Cab blend, and Kiwi the Chianti. Luckily there would be time for both, so the lighter 2009 Chianti Classico first, followed soon by the 2009 Montecucco Russo Montesalario from Tuscany.
The group began with Zuppa where Kiwi and Koala enjoyed the special of the day - mushroom soup, the significant others enjoyed the vegan soup ( to make room for a steak) and a salad. Delish!
For Mains, sorry, that's Primi Piatti, we selected polenta con ragu, ragu d'agnello con pappardelle (lamb and wide noodles), and angus filet mignon. All choices were excellent and went well with the wine and lively conversation.
Desserts of lemon tart and bread pudding where enjoyed in large portions, and with half a bottle of wine still left we had no time for coffees! No matter, as a fine gentleman approached with a deliciously smelling tea kettle full of mulled wine. He carefully placed the steaming kettle on Koala's brand new iPhone5 and told us about the wines and spices involved. A nice way to end a very pleasant dining experience. And yes, the phone survived!
Kiwi and Koala give Il Vecchio a hearty "Recommend". Let em know you heard about them hear.
Kiwi & Koala
From their website,
The story of il vecchio
Imagine that you're winding your way through narrow streets near the Pantheon in Rome. You stumble upon a crowded trattoria where servers hurry by carrying plates of pasta carbonara, rigatoni al pomodoro, bowls of gnocchi swimming in melted gorgonzola—as well as platters of grilled meats and sausage. The aromas are divine, the atmosphere lively and joyful. You have found Maccheroni, a tremendously popular trattoria owned by Luciano Flamini.
A similar atmosphere has been created at il vecchio on the Monterey Peninsula. Il vecchio means "the old," and everything about this trattoria romana makes you think you've discovered a traditional dining spot favored by Roman cognoscenti.