Friday, February 20, 2009
As mentioned, last weekend I went to Dopo for the first time for a late meal. We were so stuffed with butter-laden goodies that we didn't mind the 45min wait in the bitter cold. The host was really friendly and graciously spread blankets in our laps to help keep somewhat warm. When we were finally seated, we followed him around the side to an uncovered alley where they managed to squeeze about 5 more tables. At least we weren't right next to the tarp "door," because the draft kept blowing in and that couple was visibly miserable.
All that aside, our experience was really great. The food was yummy and you could see the pride and integrity in the cooks' work. The salumi plate was especially an example of their craft - very thought out pieces of cured meats that were explained to us by a cook (perhaps the chef de cuisine? not sure) in detail. The goat pate in the middle of the pic was a bit too crumbly/dry for my taste, so I asked for some olive oil, which really made it amazing for me. I don't have the best palate when it comes to olive oil, but theirs was so smooth with so much flavor, definitely high quality you would expect from a good Italian restaurant.
So Dopo is primarily known for their pizza and handmade pastas, and both were really great. The pizza in particular (speck, green garlic, and sweet hot peppers) had super super thin crust, similar to Gaspare's but much more crisp. It was definitely the highlight of the meal in both flavor (green garlic is just so tasty) and texture. The pasta we shared was a pretty simple pork ragu that was very generous with the meat. You can't really go wrong with handmade pasta, but we both felt that we could probably find similar quality elsewhere.
Despite the elements working against us, we had a really great time at Dopo. Our waiter also recommended a wine that was exactly what I asked for - a light red with minimal tannins (my tongue hurt from boozing all day!) but still rich and creamy - which just enhanced our meal even further. I would definitely return on a warmer evening... I know space is hard to come by, but people really shouldn't be dining outside in bad weather. I felt so bad for the couple next to the draft.. that is, until they complained to a cook (or chef? it was the guy who explained the salumi plate to us) and threatened to write "10 bad reviews" on what I'm guessing is yelp. Who does that?? The cook handled it graciously and gave them a gift certificate to encourage their return. Either way, they had a point.