Enoteca Vespaio

 

Enoteca (located at 1610 S. Congress) is the more casual and less expensive version of its sister restaurant, the more upscale Vespaio (located next door).   Looking for some good Italian food, we attempted to get a reservation at Vespaio but it was fully booked on the evening we had open.  Vespaio is ranked #3 for best Italian restaurants in Austin on Trip Advisor behind only Pieous and Home Slice (both primarily know for their pizza), which we had already reviewed on previous trips.  Though Enoteca ranked only #37 on the Trip Advisor list, after looking at the menu we decided to give it try.  Unlike Vespaio, Enoteca does not take reservations so we checked in at the restaurant, put our name on their waiting list, and then did some exploring of the nearby shops along South Congress.  Not long after returning, we were seated and began to look over their menu.

The three of us decided to start with this appetizer to share…

Zucchini Fritti – Crispy zucchini fries w/ grana padano & Calabrian chile aioli

This was very good!  A good start to our meal here.

Now for our entrees, beginning with my daughter’s choice, the Pizza Special of the day…

…with House Smoked Bacon, Butternut Squash, Roasted Garlic Puree, Fontina Cheese, Watercress, and Pomegranate Molasses.

She said this was pretty good.

My husband chose the Pasta Special of the day…

Slow roasted Berkshire Pork, Tagliatelle Pasta, Purple Heirloom Potatoes, Sherryridurre, and Marinated Feta

Again, just a “pretty good” rating from him for his pasta.

I broke our trend and ordered an entree from their regular menu rather than one of their daily specials.  My choice was the…

Manicotti Florentine – Handmade pasta rolled with ricotta cheese, spinach & lemon zest baked with arrabbiata sauce & fresh mozzarella

I was a little disappointed with this, as the lemon flavor overwhelmed all of the other great flavors of this dish.  So overall, it was pretty good but not great for me.

With the exception of our appetizer, the theme of our dinner at Enoteca seemed to be just “pretty good”.  Therefore we would rate this restaurant 4 stars, same as that given by Yelp reviewers but slightly lower than the 4 1/2 star rating by the reviewers on Trip Advisor. Ranking for Enoteca on Trip Advisor is #367 best of Austin restaurants and on Yelp is #281.  

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