Monday, September 28, 2009

Divino Restaurant

After my gf introduced me to the Yelp page, we were curious why the reviews vary so greatly. We decided to check out the restaurant.  This is a small quaint Italian restaurant located in the downtown area of Burlingame on the intersection of El Camino Real and Ralston.  I have always been a fan of Italian food and loved trying new places.

We ordered the meatball appetizer, spaghetti con vongole, gnocchi, cannoli, and the puff pastry apple tart.

The dipping sauce (olive oil infused with parsley, capers, anchovies) served with the bread was amazing, as well as the meatball appetizer.  I was inspired to make the dipping sauce on my own afterwards.  I proceeded to Safeway across the street and bought a bunch of each of the herbs I mentioned.  I also added fresh garlic to the mix.  When I returned to my apartment, I infused all of the ingredients into my olive oil.  The weather was relatively warm the next few days and although the oil was very fragrant, I noticed it made a "pop" sound every time I opened it.  I was curious what could be producing the carbonation.  I figured out on the 4th day there were white residues on the bottom of the bottle.  Apparently, even items completely infused in oil can spoil.  This will be the last time I try to infuse anything.

The pastas were very authentic and therefore under-seasoned to American palates. The gnocchi was also very authentic, so on the more mushy side. This is solely based on my experiences vacationing in Italy (Sicily and Tuscany). I would recommend ordering a secondi and sharing or skipping the pasta course if you are looking for flavor.

The desserts were amazing--the cannoli was a must have. The appetizer and desserts definitely gave this restaurant a 3 star alone out of 5.

If you are looking more for a sure bet, I would recommend Stella Alpina Osteria in downtown Burlingame.  The cuisine of Stella Alpina originate from Northern Italy, and I believe it suits the American palate much more.  Their food overall is much more flavorful.

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