the last supper

Normally I wouldn’t be going out to dinner three nights in a row (plans to go to Blue Canyon w/ the in laws tonight), but with Battuto closing, I had to get one last meal in. We got there right before 8 and was surprised to see just 60% of the restaurant filled. Being the final weekend, I anticipated it to be slammed. But among those 60% were my cousins, so I was happy to see them and visit for a few minutes.

It’s funny, I’ve been to Battuto close to a dozen times and have always had wonderful service and great food. Ironic that on my last visit there, I experienced a hint of what I’ve heard as of late, and from one commenter who used to work there who posted under the Battuto closing post. Our server was a a bit slow (taking our drink order, water refills, check) – very nice, but too slow for my patience. And the hostess totally ignored me when I got there and instead took a couple that walked in right after me. As she took her time on the way back, she then acknowledged me and sat us. I would have also loved break to soak up the sauce James left on his plate, but apparently they don’t give fresh bread for such things.

But the only thing that mattered last night was the food and as last suppers go, this one was outstanding. First, the bread sticks. I will miss those, highly addicting. I was tempted to ask for the recipe. They give you about 6 extra long, think, very crunchy bread sticks tied in a napkin. Simple and nice presentation. The bread sticks have a touch of anise, which I normally don’t care for except in pitzelles, but really makes these stand out. We each had a glass of wine and pasta. I picked my favorite, the bucatini all amatriciana; and James had the strozzapreti with roasted chicken with rosemary. Mine was fabulous. I’m still amazed they make their own pasta each morning. I’ve done this before but only a few times because it can be a pain, but the finished product is well worth the frustration. The bucatini is so thick and fresh, and truly soaks up the flavor of the dish. Because it’s so dense, I feel it takes you longer to complete your meal, which is actually a good thing. Normally when I order this dish, there are tiny pieces of crispy pancetta throughout the sauce but almost unrecognizable. I didn’t know if it’s because they are closing and getting rid of everything in the kitchen, but I hit the pancetta jackpot last night! Tons of big pieces under every strand of pasta, nicely cooked with just a touch of crispness. The pancetta, together with the thick pasta and fresh tomatoes and grated parm meshed together so happily in my mouth that all I said during dinner was, mmmm. The sauce also had the slightest of kicks. I wonder if that’s cayenne they use to give it that slight heat. That’s what I use when I try and replicate this dish. For dessert, we had the near flourless chocolate cake. Not my choice, I wanted the lemon crepes, but sine I dragged James out I let him pick. After I scraped the plate 10 times though, you’d think I was the one who wanted it.

As for the closing, the server shared with us that it’s a combo of slow sales the past year and increased wages. She also shared that we haven’t seen the last of owners/chefs Mark and Giovanna. I hope that’s true sooner rather than later. Good luck!

8 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted August 4, 2007 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know what happened to the bartender at Blu Canyon,tall pretty girl,been there since they opened?I always enjoyed her and she made the best martini’s.when i was there last week Brandt said she left ,but did’nt say for where.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted August 4, 2007 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Kelly is the bartender you referred to. She left after the new G.M. who was brought in to clean things up and restore standards that were sorely needed resigned. Word is that he was aghast at the owners (Brandt and another) partying and drinking ways in the restaurant, during business and after hours. Too bad, as he was popular and on the right track. Kelly is working for a customer of B.C.’s in private business now, and very happy.

  3. August
    Posted August 7, 2007 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry now that I didn’t go. I was thinking of going on closing night but assumed too that it would be packed out. I am glad to hear that we haven’t seen the last of them though. You made the food sound so tempting and now I’m hungry, as I usually become after reading your reviews.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted August 12, 2007 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Michelle,
    They use chili oil in the bucatini al Amatriciana to give it a kick. I’ve also used bacon instead of pancetta, and it tastes just as good! Sautee your diced carrots, onions, and celery in the bacon fat. Add a can or two of Barilla stewed tomatos. Simmer. Add the cooked bucatini. Add some chili oil, parm, reggiano. French bread. Delicious!

  5. michelle v
    Posted August 13, 2007 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Great tip – THANKS! Red or white onion? Approx how many carrorts/celery? Thanks again, can’t wait to try.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted August 13, 2007 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Definitely white or yellow onion, not red. I’ve cooked this dish several times, and it always comes out delicious, and always different. I guess I don’t count the carrots and celery. Just fill your standard sautee pan with equal amounts of orange, green, and white!

  7. michelle v
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Thanks you – can’t wait to try this.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted August 16, 2007 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I am Kelly the bartender from Blue Canyon. Thank you to the previous post on my martini’s. I did enjoy working at Blue Canyon and meeting such wonderful people in the staff and customers. It is true I did recently leave after opening the restaurant and working there for 3 years. I am now working in my other trained field, marketing and sales for a marketing communications company 2 blocks away from BC. Please continue to frequent BC and eat at the bar! The bar team is great and should be able to make great martinis.

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