Because I love pasta, I am extremely excited that we have a new neighbor moving into the Rampart Commons area which is located on the northwest corner of Charleston and Rampart Boulevard. My parents live down the street from the restaurant and I visit them every week so I am in the area quite often.
I went to the soft opening last Friday with my friend Mark. He and I are so often on the same page so when we sat down, we looked at each other and the first thing we said was, “perfect date place.” (No, we were not on a date with each other!) The lighting was dark enough where it didn’t show every blemish on your face, yet bright enough where you could still see your food. Yes, to a lot of people lighting is important when out on a date! The ambience was not too stiff where you felt you had to whisper or come wearing a suit, but also not too loud where you could have a conversation and did not expect to see someone walk through the doors wearing flip flops. It was actually perfect.
We started off with some cocktails. I had the Rosemary and Lime, while he had the Apple Bourbon Sour. I was not a fan of my drink. I went off the recommendation of our waitress-in-training, Jordan. It was a vodka-based drink and was extremely heavy on the lime so it was so sour. Mark, on the other hand, loved his drink.
Our first course was a “small plate,” the Chef’s Board. I highly recommend ordering this and it was anything but “small.” It was exquisite. There was a melody of flavors on the board from sweet to salty that blended with and enhanced one another. The bread was even delicious! They make their bread and pasta from scratch. When seated in the restaurant, you can view inside the kitchen to see the pasta and bread being made,and see the cooks hard at work.
Chef’s Board: prosciutto di parma, artisan cheese, marinated eggplant, roasted pepper, castelvetrano olive, and marcona almonds.
Our entrée was the Filet of Beef. We both ordered the same thing. I have to admit, I was a bit jealous when I saw the bowl of pasta the girl next to me ordered. I love pasta, but for some reason, I ordered something different that night.
There was a mix up in our order. I ordered mine to be cooked medium-well, while Mark wanted his to be medium-rare. My order was quite rare, while his was too well done. They were very accommodating and brought us a new order. The general manager even brought out the plates and apologized. The filets were perfect the second time around and were delicious with the marsala and mushrooms on top of each. I really liked the crispy potatoes that came as a side.
Filet of Beef: crispy potato, roasted mushroom, cipollini onion, and marsala.
Last, but never least, was dessert. We ordered the Salted Caramel Budino. At first taste, this was very sweet to me. It was one of those desserts that had to be eaten just right. Once I had the right amount of sweet and salty on my spoon, I couldn’t stop eating it. Budino, for those of you who don’t know, is a custard or pudding so every bite was creamy heaven! My only comment would be that I don’t think it deserves to be served in a mason jar. I had to put a rose and a candle in the photo I took of it because the mason jar didn’t do justice to the taste one is about to experience. It definitely needs to be served in something much prettier.
Salted Caramel Budino: crème fraiche, and maldon sea salt.
Thank you, North Italia for sponsoring the pre-opening dinner. North Italia opens its doors to the public on December 13th. I will definitely be back to try some pasta and pizza!
Click on the photos below for more fun at North Italia! Thank you to Kirvin Doak Communications as well!