The menu features Italian food, and while you can order a la carte, two different fixed price multi-course offerings provide comparative bargains: The three-course cucina della nonna (or grandmother’s kitchen) dinner includes a choice of bruschetta, a main pasta course, and a choice of dolci (dessert) for $29. The prezzo fisso (fixed price) four course dinner offers a choice of charcuterie or antipasti as a starter, a pasta course, a main course, and choice of dolci for $59. Wine pairings for each course—including dessert!—are an additional $30. We both opted for the four course dinner (John with wine pairings).
Our first courses included calamari and tuna tartare. The grilled calamari served with shredded parsnips was a wonderful blend of taste and texture (and earned a “Thumbs Up” from John); the round patty of grated tuna with capers and shallots was an enjoyable surprise. Marty’s pasta course was squid ink tagliolini with dark pasta offset by pieces of lobster and tiny clams that left him looking very happy. John’s pasta course was tagliatelle with zucchini, ramps, asparagus and mint; simpler yet satisfying.
For the main course, Marty opted for tagliata di manzo while John had seared big eye tuna. The tagliata—grilled sirloin with caramelized onions and hollandaise sauce—arrived cooked as ordered and pleased Marty. John’s big hunk of tuna was grilled just right and served with braised fennel. Perhaps the biggest hit was a sampling from the chef of grilled duck with rhubarb and pan seared foie gras. Both John (who likes duck) and Marty (who ordinarily doesn’t) thought it was “Thumbs Up” incredibly good.
Portions are not overly big, which worked to our advantage by leaving room for dessert! John ordered a panna cotta and Marty had homemade sorbets. The panna cotta custard was smooth and silky, but the sorbets were the biggest hit. (A selection of fine cheeses provides an alternative to standard desserts.)
Service during the dinner was exceptional; the staff is attentive and on top of things while friendly and avoiding the pitfalls of over-formality. We left trying to figure out why we hadn’t managed to dine here before.
822 Lancaster St.
410.547.8282 • Cgeno.com
Mon-Thu 5:30-10pm • Fri & Sat 5:30-11pm • Sunday 5-9pm
Free valet parking