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Devin Peppler

Il Migliore Trattoria

Devin Peppler
This quaintly appointed Tuscan-style trattoria is a gem. The menu and cuisine are as elemental as can be, chef/owner Neal Cooper favoring fresh, quality ingredients over complicated cooking techniques. Actually there's no cooking involved when it comes to cold appetizers of prosciutto, bresaola, and beef carpaccio, all lavishly portioned and plated in unadulterated fashion. Caprese salad doesn't require a stove either, but bright white wedges of fresh mozzarella alternate with thick, vibrantly red slices of tomato, making other restaurant versions seem unplugged. Pastas such as fresh fettuccine with wild mushrooms and white truffle oil, and spaghetti with ripe tomatoes, basil, and olive oil attain their elegance through restraint. So do grilled meat entrées - skirt steak, pork tenderloin, and lamb chops are piled onto plates dressed only in varying combinations of garlic, lemon, olive oil, and fresh herbs. Portions are ample (and prices more than fair) but their à la carte nature calls for sides. Everyone seems to order the potatoes "alla Toscana," a towering platter of crunchy, golden brown fries in a tangle of fried herbs. Desserts are homemade, service is strong and the wine list includes "28 wines for $28," (a good number of which are available by the glass) as well as the sorts of reserves more likely to elicit envy from connoisseurs. Il Migliore scores as a great neighborhood restaurant.

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