dinner @ dante

I met my girlfriends for dinner last night at Dante. Aside from myself and my one friend, this was a first – and much anticipated visit – for the other girls.

Luckily when we got there, I noticed we had the same server from my initial visit back in October. I remember what great service we had that day so I was happy he was going to take care of us. And he didn’t disappoint – again really good service all the way around.

To start off, my friend and I split a half bottle of Abadia Retuert Rivola, a full-bodied Cabernet. Great recommendation on our server’s part. For dinner, I knew what I wanted before we arrived – the surf and turf (diver scallops with braised short ribs). However, the menu changed from what’s online and instead of short ribs, the scallops were served with steak. No matter how many times I attempt to like steak, I just don’t care for it. Instead, I did a little of everything, including the yellowfin tuna tartare, mushroom salad and tasting of cavatelli with short rib. And this time I learned my lesson and avoided the very tasty yet highly addictive bread sticks that are sure to fill you up before dinner is served.

The tartare came out first and was perhaps my favorite dish of the night. It’s wrapped in a crusty potato cake and served with chive and caper remoulade. I loved the texture of this appetizer and the flavor was really enjoyable. Pretty decent portion and attractive presentation, too. I would definitely order this again.

Next came the salad, served with warm wild mushrooms on red oak leaves with thin slices of hearts of palm in a ginger vinaigrette. While I really enjoyed the flavor of the mushrooms, the salad overall was good not great. And as for the ginger dressing, well, I really couldn’t taste even a slight trace of it. Regardless, the mushrooms were enjoyable so it wasn’t a total disappointment. Next time though, I’m opting for the soup.

When I was there back in October, my husband and I had several pasta tastings, including the cavatelli with 48-hour braised short ribs. It was simply delicious and I remember commenting on the generous size for a tasting and thinking this couldn’t last long. Unfortunately, I think I was right. I’m not sure if it’s because the presentation changed from a bowl to a small square deep dish making it just appear to be less. Granted, this is a tasting after all meant for just that and if you want more, you could get the starter or go all out for the main dish. Either way, I thought the bowl made a nicer presentation. Regardless of quantity or presentation, it’s the quality that counts and this pasta was still just as tasty as I remember, although the pasta was cooked a little too long making it a bit mushy for my taste. The short ribs, however, were cooked perfectly and are really the star of this dish.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t convince my friends to have cheese for dessert so we shared the chocolate tasting. This featured a chocolate souffle, mini cookies and unfortunately I didn’t try the third taste so I can’t recall what it was. From what I did try, the souffle was easily the favorite and the presentation overall really stood out. The pastry chef is definitely a keeper (last time we had the peanut butter crunch bar – probably the best dessert in town).

Overall it was another enjoyable meal and a really fun night with my friends. Luckily, Dante is easy access for all of us since we’re pretty scattered throughout the city so here’s to more girls’ nights in Valley View.

2 Comments

  1. Alexa
    Posted January 27, 2008 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    My friend went to dante wanting the surf and turf (from the website) as well when we visited and it was also unavailable. Luckily, she asked if she could have the short rib instead of the hangar steak and they gladly obliged.

    now you know for next time! : )

  2. michelle v
    Posted January 28, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Shoot! I wish I would have thought of that.