Sunday, April 23, 2006

Abbracci, Thy Name is Great Steak.

Ever since my horrible experience in Hyde Park on High St. (more on that in the later post after I'm over my first traumatic experience), my expectation for steak house has shrank to very low. So when my boyfriend suggested we should try Abbracci because it looked "swanky from the outside" didn't exactly put me in a happy mood. Despite my inner objection and frustration, I've decided that we should still go try it and adventurous and let my taste bud and tummy be the final judge.

When I first stepped into Abbracci, the familiar sound of Monk swirled around the restaurant, which made me relax and started to look forward to the food. Our waitress was very friendly and very helpful on deciding which dish we want. I was also mesmerized by her earring because it was very pretty. (Later she told me she found it in Target and we had a little conversation on how we both love Target. Anyways...) Deciding what to order was a challenge because everything looks so damn good! We've quickly decided on the appetizer, which was rosemary grilled shrimp and sausage, but I was torn between the tournados with spinach and parmesan risotto or the sea scallop special of the day. At the end, I just can't turn down risotto because I'm a risotto whore, so I went with the tornedo. My boyfriend went with the NY strip au poivre.

When the appetizer came, the shrimp and sausage was skewered on a rosemary stem, held together by polenta cake and surrounded by roast red pepper sauce and a little balsamic vinegar. The sausage also flavored with rosemary, and when combine it with the sweet shrimp and the roasted red pepper sauce, it was like walking into a rosemary garden, but in your month. The polenta cake provides a good finish to the dish and cleanse the palate a little bit until the next course.

The tournados was very much influenced by Italian flavored and was presented napoleon style with fresh mozzarella and beefsteak tomato, and the whole thing sat on top of the spinach parmesan risotto with a little bit of balsamic vinegar and basil oil sprinkled on the side. The tournados were cooked in a perfect medium, and the meat was aged perfectly so the fillet is meaty, juicy, and very tender. The fresh mozzarella layered underneath the tournados absorbed the meat juice and gave it more body to the soft texture and flavor of the mozzarella. Along with the beefsteak tomato and combine with basil oil and balsamic vinegar, they gave the fillet more definition and flavor than just "meaty". The risotto was also seasoned perfectly! The creaminess of the risotto and spinach resonance with the smooth flavor of the mozzarella and rounds out the dish.

The NY strip au poivre was presented in a very simple presentation - garlic mashed potato with cognac demi-glaze, top with one ginormous peppercorn crusted NY strip. The NY strip was also done perfectly, and I have never tasted such a tender NY strip. The peppercorn crust gave a kick when you bite into the steak. The sharp contrast between the tender steak and peppercorn worked extremely well, especially paired with cognac demi-glaze. The glaze was buttery and smooth, which lowered the sharpness of the peppercorn a little. The dish was done extremely simple, but extremely good. Unfortunately, all the good food left me no room for dessert, so I guess I'll just have to come back for another round on a later day!

The overall experience was excellent, and it ranked 4 out of 5 on my yummy scale, and Abbracci is definitely a great alternative to the traditional steak house. Abbracci is located at 511 N. High St. Columbus, OH 43215.

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