Being avid chowhounders, J and I were really looking forward to the opening of Locanda da Eva. As fans of Maritime East, we’re glad that the location of our civil marriage’s celebration still remains a restaurant. Moreover, owner Robert Lauriston has been dishing out great dining advice on the chowhound message boards for years and even had a gig as a restaurant reviewer. If the food of Locanda da Eva match Lauriston’s great standards (I avoid saying high because Lauriston also celebrates hole in the walls), then it would be a memorable evening.
J and I went a few days after opening night and any mishaps turned into happy accidents. This may seem minor but one particular standout in service was the warm welcome the hostess gave us. She seem genuinely delighted we were there.
That set the tone for a relaxed evening. Because the restaurant is still finding its legs, things happened. The pizza that J ordered was late in coming, but the server apologized and let us know about the delay. Another mishap was that the glass of wine we originally ordered was actually only served by the bottle. The server then said he could accommodate us and make an exception. Because we are not THOSE PEOPLE, we asked him to choose a nice wine which was on the by-the-glass menu and surprise us. That led to the esteemed Mr. Lauriston coming to our table and choosing and appropriate wine. And good thing he did, because we had a 2008 Tenuta Curezza PriNe, a wonderfully fruity red that paired well with our food. One of the best wines we we’ve tasted, Period.
The food definitely lived up to the wine. It’s hyper-seasonal and changes regularly. It is a bit on the pricey side compared to the portion size – think Dopo-sized portions – but the quality is excellent. We started with the pork trotter fritters that had a corn and pepper accompaniment to them. They were wonderful but only two of them. For entrees J had the pork pizza and I had the braised goat. Both were excellent as well. The good thing about the entrees (non-pizza and pasta) is that they do come with a side. I ordered the green beans which were perfectly cooked with plenty of garlic. Supplemented my meal with the mashed cannelini beans that had yogurt and garlic. I loved it and this is high praise because I hate refried beans. For dessert, J had a polenta cake with berries that was well made but nothing spectacular.
Overall a great, relaxed evening. We love that were were getting some really interesting and unique wines with solid food. While they are still working a few kinks out they get the basics right.