Walter Mencken 2 p.m., May 28
I went to 25 Forty Bistro and Bakehouse (2540 Congress Street) for “Trattoria Thursday” last night and I was served one of the biggest meals I’ve had in a while. Eight courses, without dessert, came out of the kitchen. Service was “family style” for a mere $25 per person. Without further ado, here’s a brief list:
1st Sliced beef tongue with parsley sauce and a small green salad. It was novel and more entertaining than yet another carpaccio.
2nd Stuffed peppers. Probably the weakest dish of the entire meal as the bread and veggies stuffing just didn’t come together in the right way. Still far from bad.
Lemoncello shrimp. Not particularly lemony, but tender and well-paired with sauteed spinach and savory, black peppery sauce.
4th Fried cheese sandwich. Yup, a whole grilled cheese, breaded, fried, and served like a giant mozzarella stick floating in a light marinara sauce. Practically a meal in itself and a fun mix of crunchy and gooey.
5th Pecorino and cracked pepper pasta that had been salted with a bit too much zeal in light of the already salty cheese. Perfectly cooked noodles.
6th Spinach tagliatelle with lamb. It was lighter than expected (a boon as the protein dishes had yet to arrive) but still studded with toothsome chunks of braised lamb in a light sauce.
Fish and potatoes! I didn’t catch the particular variety of fish (it was cod-like), but the preparation of hot. mashed potatoes and tomato sauce brought me back to my teen years working in a Greek restaurant and the Sunday family meal of baked fish and potatoes in tomato and onion sauce.
Beef cacciatore for the final course. Not a home run as the frozen/canned peas in the sauce distracted from the tasty chunks of, I think, flank steak.
Now that is what I call a smoking hot deal! I have to go check out “Tasty Tuesday” sometime, when the restaurant has a free buffet on the patio and all you have to do is buy wine. I strongly urge anyone and everyone to get out to Old Town and pay 25 Forty a visit for one of these ridiculous deals. The place is cozy and the food is usually above average.
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