Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2350 Osteria - a right-sized dining experience

In one of my recent posts, I wrote our trip to Spoon and how we were able to have access to the chef. This allowed us to sample a variety of appetizers and desserts, plus get to talk to the chef personally about our dinner dishes. It was a great experience and one that I thought I would never get to do for a long, long time.

Apparently one month is a long time.

DB~'s uncle noticed in the paper that one of the chefs at 2350 Osteria in the Strip District had the same last name as them. So the one uncle contacted the other retired uncle and these two went down for lunch a few weeks ago to grill this poor guy about his family tree. They struck up a relationship with him and set up a family dinner for others in DB~'s family to check the restaurant out and meet the chef.

DB~ has a large extended family on her dad's side. At one point I thought there may be 20 of us going down, but because it was a Tuesday night that number settled out to 10 people.

2350 Osteria (2350 is the street address and Osteria means small Italian cafe) is next to Cioppino and owned by those owners as well. We went to Cioppino a few months ago with DB~'s aunt, but I never blogged about it for some reason. Cioppino was fantastic, so I was curious to see what 2350 Osteria would be like.

There is nothing fancy about 2350 Osteria. It's very stripped down and the plates and silverware are very straightforward. Simple white plates and bowls, with Crate & Barrel-esque bread baskets. And that's just fine.

The chef brought us two antipasti plates to sample. One was the various meats (proscuitto, salami, soprasecca) and cheeses (provolone and mozzarella). The second had the olives, roasted peppers and picked vegetables. The picked cauliflower was excellent. I was shocked to see that the regular price for this plate would have been $6. Then when I looked over the menu, it was shocking and refreshing to see that the rest of the prices were low, as well.

I ordered a Caesar salad for $3. The croutons were extremely light with a perfect amount of crunch. The dressing was tart, but not overpowering and there was plenty of shredded romano on top of the salad. I ordered the rigatoni, which was the house speciality fede pasta (a combination of macaroni and pasta, according to the chef) with a braised pork ragu and a couple of links of their homemade sausage. It was topped with a dollop of chilled ricotta. The portion was just the right amount to leave me full, with no leftovers, for $12. The sausage was amazingly tender. It didn't fall into pieces when I cut into with my fork, but at the same time it also cut into a perfect disk.

DB~ had the Riccolina ($10) which was the fede pasta with carmelized mushrooms, argula, and truffle oil. She loved her dish, too.

Both Cioppino and 2350 Osteria are located directly across from the Cork Factory, a hub of downtown living in a restored factory. I imagine that 2350 Osteria does quite well with the inhabitants of the Cork Factory for quick, easy, and affordable meals.

It's not fancy, but it's worth checking out this great little place. Here's to their success, especially if the chef truly is a future relation!

1 comment:

  1. My favorite part was the burlap sacks over the bar stools. v. cool. Annnd...My dish was very very good. Light yet full of flavor. I'll definitely get it again. ~