Posts tagged ‘Serrato’

Serrato – Italian Restaurant

My best friend and I were supposed to head out to a nice dinner last night (we both share a love of fine restaurants and dressing up), but the weather was stunning and we got side tracked into a Coldstone Ice Cream appetizer.  We wandered a bit outside and ate our treats in the sun.

When we finally were starting to be hungry again we headed over to Northwest Portland.  We drove down 21st, and I thought we were heading to Lucy’s table, but he had some place new in mind.  We browsed one of my favorite shops for a little bit and then headed for the Italian place he was thinking of.  Turns out it was Serrato, which is a place I have passed by many times (always admiring their cute little snail decals on the windows) but had never been in.

It was your usual sort of Italian restaurant atmosphere, rather dim, with white table cloths.  The space was L shaped and had a fair bit of room for tables in addition to the bar.  The blue wall in the back of the restaurant really caught my eye.  It was the color of dusk or of certain summer storm skies that I have seen.  I really appreciated that they had a rather larger candle at the table, as I was able to read my menu without trouble, the lack of visibility being something that tends to plague nearsighted people in dim restaurants.

We ordered the calamari for a starter, though the kitchen didn’t bring it.  We ended up receiving it at the end after I mentioned that it hadn’t arrived.  They comped us the appetizer.  It was quite nice.  Tender calamari takes care in picking how long you cook it for.

He ordered the special, which was a lamb shank served over polenta and topped with tomato sauce.  The bite of polenta I had was lovely.  Just the right amount of additional flavor to make the polenta interesting, but not overwhelm its natural appeal.  It was creamy and buttery.  The lamb (by report) was very good, but not quite good enough that he felt he had to convince me to try a bite.

I order the seared sea scallops.  They were served with diced Yukon Gold potatoes, zucchini slices, sautéed chanterelles and onions with greens, and drizzled with a saffron-citrus cream.  The scallops managed a wonderful crust on top and bottom that drew out that savory Maillard reaction, but very tender everywhere else.  The potatoes would have been extremely dangerous had there been slightly more of them, as they were very tasty.  They were cooked just enough to be soft, yet retain their structural integrity and had obviously been slow cooked with herbs of some kind.  Probably at least a bit of rosemary and garlic.  The mushrooms and vegetables were also good.  Over all, the flavors balanced very nicely.

We were quite full after our meal (especially after snacking on the calamari which came mid-course with the entrées) and didn’t end up ordering dessert, though there were a few things that looked like they would be worth trying.  We certainly plan to go back another time.

March 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment