NOTE: we returned in 2015 and understood that this lovely little spot was about to close.
Taken to this delightful authentic Italian spot by local-resident friends, I was dazzled by the delicious food and comforting atmosphere. A great find in this lovely old small city.
The room is low-ceilinged and not at all large, but complex in its floor plan so that one is visually exposed only to another few tables. We sat by a pleasant low window, and I felt instinctively soothed by the physical surroundings and relieved by the lack of noise, although the place was less than half-full. There was a sense of effortless comfort and needs about-to-be-met that reminded me of Bibou in Philadelphia.
Server was a very cheerful young middle-aged man with a dynamite self-effacing sense of humour. He recommended and brought a bottle, then another, of Teroldego Mezza Corona Riserva, apparently from the east-of-Piedmont northern Italian home of the restaurant owner. Teroldego is a new varietal for me, and the wine was fragrant, a bit barolo-like in mouth feel, and definitely worth at least twice the $37 price in any restaurant I’ve ever been in.
We shared around our starters, mine a complex and somehow consoling ravioli filled with lobster, ricotta, brandy in a cream sauce containing a hint of rich cheese. Smoked salmon was tender and packed with flavor, and carpaccio granular and tasty. I seemed determined to have lobster here in PEI so ordered it and it was fresh and perfectly cooked, not easy to accomplish I can attest to by repeated experience. Others had more traditional Italian fare from the very interesting varied menu. Two of us shared a tiramisu (I think it was) sweet and appropriately alcoholic.
The owner who dropped by the table with a quick deferential greeting knows his value. I can’t imagine the real estate imposes crushing overhead, and the prices are certainly big-city, but completely justified by the lovely food. I would go back in a flash and may well do so as I have to be in Charlottetown from time to time, although I think there are several other great spots there I’m looking forward to trying. Food 8.9, service 8.6, ambience 9.0, value 7.5.