Wednesday evening, at the last minute, I was invited to the Da Vinci concierge dinner. I had been there before but was anxious to try it again. My first time there was a great night with David but I really wanted to like this place even more. And this time, they delivered.
When I arrived, everyone was meeting at the bar and having a drink. I decided against having a class of wine right off the bat and instead had a new favorite of mine: Kahlua and soda water with a lime.
This is also the restaurant that has the back-lit menus. Their lighting is low for that reason. Apparently less than 5 restaurants in the US have these menus and Da Vinci’s is the only one in Boston.
When we were seated, a basket of warm bread was placed in front of us, along with olive oil and hummus for dipping.
The bread was so warm and chewy. And I loved the delicate test of the hummus. I had a few pieces.
I was glad that our table was by the window because the lighting was slightly better than the last time I came.
For the appetizers, the chef insisted on giving us tastes of some of their more popular dishes. Our first plate was traditional aroncini filled with risotto and fontina, and prosciutto wrapped fontina and asparagus with field greens. The aroncini was creamy and cheesy in the middle and just the right amount of deep frying. It’s easily one of my favorite appetizers! The prosciutto wasn’t too salty and the cheese was just melted and blended nicely with the chilled asparagus.
As a second appetizer, we were given a pasta tasting. On the plate were potato gnocchi with spinach and Gorgonzola cream sauce, and simple rigatoni Bolognese. I admit it, I inhaled the rigatoni. It’s a comfort food to me and this was delicious. It was lightly sauced and topped with parmesan. The gnocchi was delicious as well; light fluffy potato pillows.
For meals, we had an option of haddock or duck. I honestly wasn’t feeling any, but the server told us that we could order off of the menu if we would like. I order the osso bucco which was a pork shank with saffron risotto and broccoli rabe. This was like a tower of pork and it was as tender as short rib.
I had half of the pork and all of the risotto. It was delicious. The pork was tender and sweet, although a tad dry once I started chewing. But it was great nonetheless.
For dessert, it was all about the tasting plate! There were chocolate molten cakes, fruit crostada, flan and vanilla ice cream. I had a few bites of each and pretty much attacked the crostada. The crust was so light and flaky. The chocolate cake was warm and gooey but I get tired of chocolate rather quickly. I love my fruit desserts.
We demolished it.
Along with dinner, I did enjoy a couple of glasses of a red wine from Verona Italy. It was on the same level as a chianti and it was the first winery to use the double fermentation process. Very cool and crisp; not too dry. I liked it a lot.
My second time at Da Vinci’s definitely left a good taste in my mouth (pun intended!). The service was great, the food was very well prepared. And I loved learning that everything they make, they do so in house and fresh. They even make their own pastas. With having the hotel far from the North End, I am so glad that there is an authentic Italian restaurant that I can send guests to and know that they will have a great time.
Da Vinci is located at 162 Columbus Avenue between the South End and the Back Bay. They are open Monday through Saturday for dinner at 5PM.