A new-ish Panini/Wine Bar in Gastown:
Who: Table of 4
What: Wine, Cheese, Cured meats, Panini
When: Saturday March 3rd
Where: Notturno Paninoteca (Gastown)
Why: Carn.H’s Birthday
Menu (If you can read it that is… First time shooting in an “atmospheric ambiance” with my Galaxy Note – I had a choice of either blinding everyone at the table with an insanely long flash time or end up with something like this … (><) )
Pesco Piatto (sp?) – House Cured Salmon, Smoked White Salmon, Smoked Albacore Tuna, Fennel Rubbed Albacore Tuna, Tuna Crudo Fennel ($16)
(^^): We all really liked smoked flavors and the supple textures of the cured fish. I felt that the House Cured Salmon fell a little flat (a tad watery tasting) but the other three variants were delish.
Bruschetta – I believe this was the Tuna Crudo that was a part of the above Platter.
(^^): Perfectly Crisp Crostini – I think the little black balls that you see on top, are gastronomic forms of olives. They were a little too dense and plastic-like so I preferred them off my “bruschetta”
*correction: cucumber and balsamic pearls according to Sean from Sean’s Adventure in Flavor Town
Pico Bruschetta – Blue cheese Aioli, Fig, Black Olives, Walnuts ($6)
(^^): Great for blue cheese lovers. I’m not a huge fan of blue cheese so I thought the flavor was quite overpowering but the others at the table loved the balance.
back: Tartufo Panini – Prosciutto, Artichoke, Capers, Black Truffle Aioli, Pecorino ($9.5)
front: Fumo Panini – speck (smoked prosciutto), gappa poached pear, taleggio ($9.5)
(^^): Loved the flavor combinations! The Tartufo was savory and delectable and the Fumo was sweet and light. I was pretty impressed with the different uses of textures and you can tell that quality and freshness of ingredients is important to them.
Our waitress was kind, though we did have to repeat our drink orders a few times and I didn’t quite understand why she explicitly expressed the inability to cut the panini into 4 pieces – even though we never asked – and I was quite able of doing it myself with the table knife 30 seconds later. My only guess is the proportioning of ingredients made it hard for equal distribution (the artichokes were by the halves and the meats didn’t quite spread from edge to edge).
The wine list does need to be expanded and perhaps a Sommelier lesson is in order as I found their whites to be quite bland, a forgiven flaw as I was there more for the food and the company.
Ambiance: Quaint but tight. Other than being elbowed and knocked into by the other customers we liked the decor and the intimacy of the space.
Likelihood of Revisiting: 85%
Culinary Mindset: A nice snack/light dinner