This is my second review of Saggio. (You can see my first review at: http://www.foodlovergirl.com/saggio/) This place was so warm and tasty that we went back for more. They have hand-written special menu of the day, addition to their regular menu. What they offer on the special menu of the day is almost always recommended more than the regular menu item. It seems that the special menu items are more delicious, decadent, and/or interesting.
So, we again ordered from the special menu, as we did the last time we visited this restaurant.
We started off with Garlic Bread ($4/two pieces) and a bottle of German wine called Guntrum Riesling ($36). Yes, I mentioned how over-priced wines are at this place, but if you are willing to pay for it, then go for it. They do have nice wine, just at much, much higher price than you can buy elsewhere. This wine has floral palate, fruity, sweet, and yet refreshing. It is great before or after the dinner, as it has that sweetness, very smooth, I really enjoyed it. The garlic bread were pretty big pieces, I can see why they might want to charge $2 per piece. I still think it is a bit pricey for garlic bread, but it was really tasty, very garlic-y, and really well made. Not oily or greasy, but not too dry or too hard, and was a very pleasant appetizer. So, after having one, I could say it might be worth $2 per piece.
We had this awesome huge salad from the special menu the last time, and it was offered on the special menu again this evening, so we order it to share among 3 people. It is called the Insalata Al Tio ($13), and it comes with kale, spinach, arugula, roasted beets and pistachio, and goat cheese. It is so fresh, has several flavors and textures from different leaves and ingredients, all perfectly combined altogether. It has the crunchiness from pistachio, smoothness from cheese, softness from beets, and all that fresh greens. It really is a great salad! And again, it is huge, enough to share among 3 or more people.
Then, we moved on to the main dish. We ordered Penne from the regular menu, and and Branzino from the special menu. The Penne ($10) comes with tomato, basil, and parmigiano cheese. For additional $2, you can add sauteed vegetables. This one shown is the $13 version with the veggies, which were asparagus and carrots. It was solid dish, not very special, but good pasta dish, safe choice for when you are wanting something that is simple and light. The pasta was cooked nicely, and the sauce was very flavorful. The Branzino off the special menu was called the Grilled Branzino Marechiara ($24). I know it might sounds a bit pricey, but it comes with mussels, shrimp, salmon and calamari in a garlic red sauce with fresh chopped tomatoes. Yes it had all sorts of seafood in there. We were not super hungry, so we were afraid that we would not be able to finish, but then again, we can always take it home. The plate was full of shellfish and seafood, which was a delight. The Branzino was grilled nicely, the addition of salmon chunks were interesting, it was not so much “Branzino” dish but more like “seafood platter” of some kind. The sauce was flavorful, not too salty or too garlic-y, it went well with the seafood. In fact, it was really tasty that everyone finished the dish completely! There was nothing to take home with.
And then, even though we were full, we had to get a couple of desserts to share. We can always walk that off…right? So, we ordered Lemon/Passion Fruit Sorbetti ($7) and Poached Pear ($7) from the special menu of the day. The sorbet were really nice, creamy, smooth, and sweet. Having lots of berries on top were a great surprise! It all just melted in our mouth and disappeared. The Poached Pear came with fig gelato and port reduction, and it was as good as that sounded. It had mixture of flavors and texture, and this one also disappeared rather quickly. The flavor of pear and fig went well together, without being overly sweet, and the port reduction always gives that additional tang to bring the dessert to the higher level.
Overall, we were very happy with our second visit, I am sure there will be a third visit in the near future. When you are craving for some Italian food or just good, solid, tasty dishes, head over to Saggio and get some delicious adventure begin!
Saggio – 829 W 181st St., New York, NY 10033