But Extra Virgin? That’s another story. Everyone knows about Michael Smith and his two (or three or four if you count his major consulting gigs) restaurants, so I’m not going to write about the chef whose name eponymously decorates his next door restaurant. (I’ve been dying to use that word, eponymous. Just in case, it means giving one’s own name to a place, tribe, product, etc. Like Romulus, the founder of Rome. Or the old Roseanne show. Or Darwinism. Or Doberman [19th century dog breeder]. Now you’ll see it everywhere if you haven’t already.)
A while back we (that being my portly companion otherwise referred to as husband Bill) were addicted to pizza Mondays at Extra Virgin where bottles of wine ($75 and under) are half off and you get the wood-fired pizza of the night (their choice) for only eight dollars. Once, we ordered two of them even though we were pretty full. Maybe part of it was just wanting to sit there a while longer, but just part.
Anyway, we were there the other night and I readily remembered just how good this place is. Even caught the happy hour, but it’s hard not to since it runs from 11:30am – 6pm all five weekdays. I appreciated my $2.00 off on what is, so far on my quest, one of the VERY best old fashioneds in town. (Wait, I’ll do that blog later after I’m “done” with my testing. Will include recipes, yippee!)
I’m just listing three things now I think everyone should try (besides that old fashioned). First, their marrow bone(s). $11.0. Huge. Perfect. Their toasty grilled bread. Ahhh . . . it should have been the meal. Then the poblano mac & cheese. $9.0 I’m not a huge M&C fan normally, but I loved this version cuz it was lighter, creamier, and the cheese really shone. If that is possible. Next, the wood fired Brussels sprouts. $8.0. Done with ham hock, walnuts, and orange peel. I first started loving sprouts at Pizzabella in the Crossroads and copied, as best I could, that recipe (almost blackened in olive oil, pancetta, almonds, cranberries, and I added balsamic). Extra Virgin’s are deliousoso too so I may try making that too – sheer guesswork and no talent makes cooking so much fun! You’d think that might be enough. But no, I added the octopus with gigante (speaking of eponymous) beans. $9.0. I forgot to take a picture I was digging into this mixture so hastily. Again, not a huge octo-eater (it’s a texture thing and too often rubbery) but this was good and, I told myself, nutritious.
I’ll be talking about some new places too, but it’s good to have favorites, like Extra Virgin on 1900 Main, which make life easy. Where are yours?