To celebrate a belated birthday, a few of us ventured over to the ever-cute Charles Street for a dinner at Artu Rosticceria & Trattoria the other night. Walking down the steps guarded by a lethargic little dog, I was surprised at how small and cavernous the space was. There were some 8 tables, and a large fireplace upon which all of the wines and liqueurs were kept, which I found rather fun.
Since Artu doesn't stock bottles of bubbly, we started with a round of individual bottles of Prosecco. Fun! I had never had Collabrigo Valdobbiadene Venet, but it was nice - not too sweet but very smooth. Along with our glasses of prosecco, we shared plate of the "Cozze e Calamari Fra Diavolo" which was mussels and calamari in spicy tomato sauce with strips of Italian bread for dipping. I'm a sucker for tentacles, and this dish had plenty! Sauce wasn't overly spicy, but great to mop up with the bread.
For my main dish I couldn't decide between the lobster ravioli special or the veal special, but luckily Chris agreed to split with me! The lobster ravioli was good, but I was somewhat underwhelmed - too much pasta, too little lobster/filling, but the sauce was nice and creamy and flavorful. The Veal Artu, as the special was called, was medallions of veal topped with smoked mozzarella, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, mushroom, and something else that escapes me. Nothing to write home about (just to blog, apparently), but with that combination of things you really can't go wrong.
Bryan stuck with the traditional and chose the eggplant and chicken parmigiana, which was " exactly what (he) wanted in all its crunchy, cheesy, carb-ridden, comfort-y goodness. (He)'d get it again, but could do without the penne." Our 4th, per the waitress's recommendation, ordered the Pollo Arrabiata, which was chicken breast, mushrooms, anchovies, capers, in a hot spicy tomato sauce. He said it was delicious, with just the right amount of spice.
We washed down a meal with a really nice bottle of chianti (Rocca delle Macie Riserva 2006 Chianti Classico), and even ordered a second bottle in lieu of dessert. Everyone loved it! Lucky for us, our wonderful waitress, who had provided us with just the perfect amount of attention without being too much, brought us a round of little shortcakes topped with delicious cherries, blueberries, and whipped cream on the house!
While I wouldn't say our meals at Artu were out of this world, the food was solid and the atmosphere and service couldn't be beat! I think we'd all happily return to grab a bite to eat.