Piccolo II: The Re-Piccoloning

We enjoyed our dinner at Piccolo in March so much that when it came time for figuring out where to go for our anniversary dinner last month it was the first place we both came up with. We were interested to see if it would be consistent with the level of creativity and execution of our first meal—I’m pleased to report that it was and that we enjoyed this meal even more.

This time we were seated in the main dining room, at one of the two-tops along the dividing wall that runs alongside the entrance to the restroom. The table itself is fine but that row of tables is too cramped. We were right alongside a party of four (there’s another two-top on the other side, I think) and it was as though their conversation was at our table (even though they weren’t particularly loud). This is the one negative comment I have. I expect that for a small restaurant like Piccolo every table counts, but I don’t know that every table has the same experience.

Anyway, on to the food! Once again we got all five courses. And once again we did not leave hungry (though, as you’ll see,we did get a bonus dish and ended with cheese). Please click on an image below to launch a slideshow with detailed descriptions.

So, an excellent meal, with more high points than in March and a couple of transcendental dishes. And it’s fun to see ingredients showing up in different guises in different places on the menu (cucumber, fava beans, sorrel, fennel). Service was again professional and polished (though one of the staff seemed like she might have been in a bad mood that night–not evinced in her interaction with us but in a permanent scowl while walking around the restaurant). With three glasses of wine, tax and tip the bill came to $191.

One challenge for serious wine drinkers (I’m not one) at Piccolo is pairing wines with all the courses. My lamb neck called for red but I’m not sure there’s anything on the previous two courses that would have been easy to cross-pair with. I was able to solve this by getting a glass of white to go with the first three courses and a red to go with the lamb and the cheese but if I hadn’t gotten the cheese I might have been looking at a large glass of wine with a small plate of lamb. Then again, one more wine-savvy than me might easily pick out choices that work. And one other smaller point: I know Minnesota is casual, and I’m not myself much of a stickler for formality for formality’s sake BUT I wonder if restaurants like Piccolo might consider a “no shorts” dress code.

We’re looking forward to returning again soon.

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