Monday, June 18, 2007

PIACERE, San Carlos, CA

Piacere is a neighborhood gem in downtown San Carlos that boasts seasonal Cal-Italian cuisine and a phonebook-sized wine list that features more than 2200 selections. However, we opted to take advantage of their corkage-free Mondays and bring our own bottle of red, which just meant that we could splurge on dessert.

Tuscan Meatballs
Grana Padano, Pizzaiola Sauce, Balsamic Drizzle
There is nothing like homemade meatballs, especially when they are covered in cheese with a rich tomato sauce. Luckily, we had some bread to soak up every last drop of sauce. It was a great start to our Italian feast.

Housemade Shiitake Tortelli
Pecorino, Mushroom Brown Butter
When we read the description of this dish on the menu, every component of it called out to us – we are both mushroom ravioli fanatics, and there is no better way to serve it than in a deep, rich brown butter sauce. Luckily, we decided to share our main courses so we were each able to savor it.

Ancho & Coco Nib Braised Meyer Ranch Short Ribs
Everyone knows by now that I love short ribs – but their version, featuring Ancho chili and coco nibs, definitely called out to us. There was a nice balance of flavor in the dish, with the smokiness and heat of the Ancho - and although we couldn’t taste the coco nibs in the dish outright, we decided that this was the way it was meant to be. Very rich and hefty, more than half of this dish went home with us.

Warm Chocolate Truffle Cake
Raspberry Sauce, Vanilla Gelato, Chocolate Nibs

Deciding to go back to basics, we sampled Piacere’s version of a molten chocolate cake. This one definitely hit the mark, and was warm, gooey, rich and chocolaty. The vanilla ice cream was definitely needed for this one!