Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bussalacchi's A Modo Mio Week

Celebrated San Diego restaurateur and chef Joe Busalacchi will set aside his regular menu to do things “a modo mio” or “my way” for dinner service from December 7 to 13 at Busalacchi’s A Modo Mio in Hillcrest. Guests will choose chicken, red meat, fish or vegetarian fare for the main course and Joe will take care of the rest using fresh, seasonal, uncomplicated ingredients that are a hallmark of true Sicilian cooking – a surprise meal for the adventurous diner.

Guests will receive a chef-prepared four-course meal for $35 per person or a three-course meal for $30 per person.

We were lucky enough to get to try this special menu last night, and boy, was it a treat! It's like a restaurant week of their own! I love prix fixe menus -- the food is often the best of the restaurant's offerings, and it's often a great deal!

The starting course was a selection of tapas: pizza bread; proscuitto, cheese, sardines, and marinated mushrooms; eggplant; octopus salad; and polenta fries.

Each item was a nice taste of the appetizer offerings, and a good representation of the restaurant's philosophies of simple ingredients prepared in a traditional manner. I couldn't pick a favorite! They were the perfect samplings!

The next course was a soup or salad, and we picked one of each. The soup was a fine blended red lentil. Two lentil soups in a week make for a very happy me! I loved the smooth consistency of the soup and garlic flavor. Garnished with a simple sprig of thyme, the presentation was lovely.

The salad was a simple frisee with a balsamic vinaigrette, garnished with pomegranate seeds. The salad was just what it should have been -- crisp and clean, with a dash of dressing to flavor the greens. I think that salads that accompany meals (rather than being the entire meal) should be light and not drowned in a dressing with croutons and other heavy items.

It was a good thing that our soup/salad course was fairly light, because next was the pasta course! Again, we tried one of each offering: lobster ravioli and spaghetti pomodoro. Again, I loved that the portions were reasonable. 

The lobster ravioli was two beautiful, homemade pillows of tender pasta and seasoned lobster meat. The sauce was incredibly cheesy and buttery. Very rich, so I'm glad that there were only two served. 
The spaghetti pomodoro was reminiscent of the delicious dish of the same name that I enjoyed in Venice last fall. I love the no-fuss flavors of the tomato sauce with homemade pasta. Like all great Italian dishes, it is more than the sum of its parts. 
 It was time for the surprise main course! I had chosen fish and my companion had chosen the red meat option (we're so predictable).

The red meat option was a nice, medium rare petite filet! Seasoned with plenty of black pepper, this steak had a lot of flavor (I usually find filets lacking in any discernible flavor). Underneath was a sort of ratatouille vegetable medley with a tomato sauce. The steak was so tender and had a wonderful spicy pepper flavor.

 My dinner was a classic shrimp scampi, with some of the biggest, most tender shrimp that I've ever eaten! It was dressed with a delicious garlic lemon sauce, and sitting atop my favorite vegetable (currently), asparagus!

We barely had any room for dessert, but I've never turned down a cannoli, and the mini cannolis and chocolate truffles were a perfect ending. Washed down with one their authentic cappuccinos, it was a perfect ending to a delightful meal. 

A Modo Mio week is going on until December 12. The menu changes nightly, so there would be no guarantee to get this specific set of courses, but everything was so good, I highly recommend checking it out!!!

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December 09, 2012 / by / 0 Comments

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