Sunday, August 14, 2005

Restaurants: Reviews: Dopo

My sheer delight and bewilderment in discovering that fig newtons had any naturally occuring prcedent overwhelmed me for a long time. Even now, 10 years later, when I see a basket of ripe figs I have to pick them up regardless of price (4 to 6 dollars a basket this year at the Lakeshore Farmer's Market).

Dopo did the same thing for me with Italian food. so now most weeks, I eat there two or three times (I'll post the menus I remember to grab). and i'm not alone. the place, small as it is, is almost always packed. dropping by early or late in an evening, or just mid-week, i don't think i've ever waited more than 15 minutes though. the staff will also generally ask if you'd like a glass of something while you wait. if they don't, just ask to see the wine list.

i can understand how the oliveto pedigree and overwhelmingly positive reviews might lead folks to arrive with some specific set of expectations that aren't met. having spent my last ten years happily leaning more toward the French than the Italian though, this food came as a revelation.

everyone talks up the pizza. it's transcendent: light and compelling enough that a friend and I have been known to eat 3 of them after the antipasti. recently though i had:

- boston mackerel with watercress and agrumato
- mixed bean salad with lemon, parsley, and bottarga
- fusilli with braised niman ranch pork belly and sweet peas
- whole wheat fettuccine with paine farm pigeon ragu
- knoll farm (i think) santa rosa plum sorbet

whenever i ask about specific preparations, the response almost always begins,"You just take 'X' ingredient and do 'Y' with it..." even on nights when the daily menu features items that were there the night before, the preparations are likely to be slightly, or even pointedly, different.

a friend recently confessed to eating here five times in a week - every night but tuesday. he waxed poetic about each of the meals. went into great detail, before saying that he was sure he ate something somewhere on tuesday night, just couldn't remember where or what. it can be that good.


Portions of this entry originally appeared in a review at

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