Last night we were treated to dinner by Morgan's cohort M and his special lady friend V. We had intentions of hitting a cabaret place downtown, but found it was bingo night and made alternate plans to finally grace the threshold of Bizzarro. I'm not quite sure why we haven't been there before, it's been on the list for a while, I think we just always ended up lazy or busy or craving something else. Plus everything I've read has indicated a long wait for a table, which I'm not a fan of. Now having gone once, I would seriously consider quitting my job to clean toilets there if it meant I could eat their table scraps on a daily basis.
The food was simply divine, there's not much of a better way to put it. I'm a big fan of a good bowl of pasta, and Bizzarro delivers in spades. At 9:00 p.m. they were out of the wild boar and one other special, but still serving up the pappardelle with white truffle butter. I probably would have gone for the boar had it been available, much as I'm a lover of truffles. See, I've had a couple of truffle dishes in the past that have tossed me into the abyss of a serious foodgasm, but I've also had several truffle dishes that have fallen fairly flat. I think that there are a lot of chefs out there trying to ride that single ingredient as though it will carry the whole dish, and it just doesn't work. The truffle lovin' at Bizzarro, however, is perfect. The sauce was one that I would like to bathe in; rich and buttery with a vague herb-y undertone, and absolutely packed with truffle flavor. More often than not I came across a fat slice of the juicy little fungi in my forkful, which was oddly comforting, like they weren't messing around when they say truffle.
Not that one exceptional dish is enough to totally win me over though. The thing that really got me with this place is that every little detail counted. The rosemary bread was fresh and delicious and probably made on site, the oil and balsamic for dipping was of a quality and combination that I've yet to encounter elsewhere. The clams in white wine appetizer was light, full of flavor and complemented by the wine while leaving the clams plenty of room to shine. Morgan had the bolognese which was exactly as it should be; meaty and hearty without being too heavy, and with a touch of cinnamon. Even the espresso was served while the crema was still thick (which never happens in restaurants, in my experience). We downed a couple of bottles of rich, unassuming organic red that I can't remember the name of, and that was that.
I'm not sure whether the boisterous greeting we received by proprietor and head chef Mike Easton sweetened the pot for us. It was nice to feel special and have the head cheese pour our wine (we used to roll bread together in Albuquerque), but I feel confident that I would have been just as impressed had I not known he had anything to do with the place. New Year's resolution #32: eat the entire menu at Bizzarro.