Monday, September 26, 2016

SRV

I'm confident that the food and cocktails at SRV are going to blow you away. One of my favorite meals in Boston this year and an exemplary choice for a special occasion; we celebrated my Mom's 60th birthday and they made us feel special from beginning to end. SRVs radical approach to cicchette + piatti (Italian small plates) and homemade pastas is nothing short of impressive. 

SRV stands for Serene Republic of Venice and proudly distinguishes themselves as Boston's first Venetian Bacaro and wine bar. Our table decided to go for the Arsenale ($45pp) chefs tasting at the encouragement of our waitress. We all agreed that each and every ciccette sounded wonderful, plus it's exciting to be surprised and to let the chefs send out what they think is the best of the menu. 
But first - drinks! The wine list is exclusively Italian and the cocktails showcase a heavy Italian influence. Between five of us we had a solid apertitvi sampling, which was perfect because I would have ordered any one of them. I love spotting new-to-me ingredients and different types of vermouth, amaro, spirits etc. So from the SRV Negroni ($12) with bully boy estate gin, cocchi vermouth di torino + campari to the Innocents Abroad ($12) with fighting cock bourbon, amaro nonino, gran classico + kina l'aero, SRVs bar staff delivers. The (Streaking in Italian) ($9) - pueblo viejo añejo tequila, contratto aperitif, cardamaro + lemon was another solid choice. The cocktails go on to feature one with grappa and another with cachaca. I'm super impressed!


~~~ And now presenting the Arsenale ~~~
 Fresh Goat Cheese - tomato brodo, herb blossoms, cucumber. A stimulating, creamy, fruity first bite!
 Stuffed Piquillo Pepper - Asiago cheese, herbed bread crumbs. And our meal continues in impressive fashion with perhaps my favorite of SRVs chiccetti.
 Baccala Mantecato - salt cod, black bread, herbs, garlic. The black bread is squid ink, a creative vessel for a bracing bite of salt cod. 
 Mozzarella in Carrozza - preserved tomato, bonito. Those whimsical bonito flakes that move on their own and this melty mozarella is a winning bite.
 Beef Tartare - off menu and i forget what came in this besides sunflower seeds and other nuts adding a playful texture contrast. We all loved it. 
Smoked Sea Trout - salsa bastarda, lentils, turnip brovada, lemon hollandaise. The trout was reminiscent of an arctic char or salmon and ever so slightly seared yielding a delicate piece of fish with smokey flavor.
Lamb Belly - this was everyones first time having lamb belly, and wow is it rich and fatty. Crispy on one side, tender on the other, it was reminiscent of both bacon and pork belly of course, but definitely has a distinct flavor. The carrot in pinzimonio, saffron yogurt and stone fruit helped cut the richness of the belly.
Strozzapreti - spicy lamb sausage, ricotta salata, kale
Creste de Gallo -  smokey tomato, pesto, pine nuts. Both handmade pastas are terrific. Works of art in fact. We take votes and the table is divided on which is the winner. No matter what, I want more pasta dishes from SRV, that's for sure.
 Biscotti Misti - venetian cookies & confections
Tiramisu - mascarpone, savoiardi, cocoa nibs / Caffé Corretto - espresso with a touch of grappa / Affogato - espresso, hazelnut gelato, gianduja
The only disappointment of the Arsenale tasting is the dolci, as it comes with a forgettable biscotti misti. We ordered the Tiramusi and Affogato on our own and loved both. All three desserts are $8, so swap the affogatto in for the biscotti and the Arsenale is one of the best prix fix menus around.

The space is tasteful and uniquely designed - antique decanters turned light fixtures meet heavy barn doors and there's a dreamy patio out back. Also, the bathrooms!!



569 Columbus Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
SRV Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato