After moving to the South, I have had trouble finding some good Italian food, and frankly, I can't eat much moore fancified shrimp & grits.
Pricci is the perfect date-night spot, and I'd even consider grabbing takeout to fulfil a craving for homemade, upscale Italian.
Each month, the chef chooses a different region of Italy from which to draw inspiration. We went just before they released the November menu (Udine, Northern Italy), but after sampling several of their mainstays and a dish off of their October menu (Messina, Sicilian), I can't wait to go back.
The amazing service of our waiter really made our night. When we couldn't decide on a red wine, he brought three samples to our table, discussing each varietal in an interesting manner. He asked for our preferences, and he acted upon them thoughtfully, bringing out a super Tuscan that I wish I could remember the name of. It was mild and fruit forward with a bit of spice on the finish. His knowledge carried on throughout the evening, so we thought we'd ask about appetizers and entrees. He gave us the highlights and what he thought we'd like based on our preferences, and we loved each dish.
We ordered the Polpette first -- three veal and parmesan meatballs in the same san marzano tomato sauce that is served warm with the bread (plus, goat cheese!). Each meatball was cooked to perfection, and the flavors were both comforting and unique. The natural ingredients were left alone to shine, which happens to be my favorite style of cooking.
Next, we had a half-size portion of the Risotto del Pescatore. All pastas and risottos can be ordered at Pricci in half sizes, which makes it even easier to taste all of the delectable options. The risotto was filled with braised Mediterranean octopus, clams, mussels, langostino, baby calamari & Georgia wild shrimp. The seafood did not overwhelm the dish, and it was perfectly balanced. The risotto was cooked to be tender and not mushy, and each bite offered a unique taste of the sea.
By the time we finished our appetizers, we were getting full. A woman sitting at the next table had ordered the Messina tasting menu, and we asked our waiter if we could still order off that menu without commiting to the entire lineup. He graciously obliged, and we went for the star of the menu, which was an artisanal black spago in a fresh cherry tomato sauce with jumbo prawns and pecorino cheese. It floored me. The spago was perfectly crafted and cooked, and the prawns were fresh and full of flavor. The fresh cherry tomatoes contrasted beautifully with the squid-ink pasta, and all of the flavors shined.
We ended our evening with chocolate gelato, which was the best I've had in America, and cappucinos. The delicious food and expert service made it an unforgettable evening.