Warm Semolina Cakes with Lardo ($5)
This particular sfitzi came highly recommended by friends and previous reviews, and for good reason. The corks are tender with a subtle springiness and the flavor is rich and milky. Thin sheets of house-cured lardo on top are decadent and oh-so delicate.
Burrata di Puglia with Charred Peppers, Asparagus, and Radicchio ($15)
Some might argue that spending meal chips on a piece of imported cheese isn't worth it, but it is when it's burrata and when it comes with vegetables like these. (Note: The menu advertises this dish with peppers, gold raisins, and pine nuts; I think the preparation changes seasonally.) I can't think of the last time that I had such well-executed grilled produce—particularly the radicchio, which was wilted, smoky, and faintly bitter in a way that complemented the cheese perfectly.
Bucatini all'Amatriciana ($17)
Hands-down the best preparation of this dish I've ever had, from the pasta to the pancetta. The bucatini were thick and ridged—ideal for capturing the bright, clean sauce—and cooked perfectly; the pork, rich and nutty and house-cured, was cut into mini batons and seared hard so that it was crisp at the surface but retained a good bit of meaty chew.
Pappardelle with Wild Boar ($21)
This is the dish you hear about, but the words don't do it justice. The pappardelle ribbons are almost as wide as lasagna and appropriately substantial for such a rich (though not greasy) ragu. The meat is pot roast-tender but the boar delivers a more complex, woodsy flavor than beef. Trumpet mushrooms, juniper, and parmesan add to that effect.
Brussels Sprouts, Orange Zest, Hot Peppers ($5)
Orange and fresh chiles made a nice flavor combo with the mustard-y vegetable, but the biggest success here was simply that the Brussels sprouts were perfectly cooked: very well charred, crisp-tender, and bright green.
Chocolate Terrine ($8)
The dessert selections feel a bit conservative compared to the savory side of the menu, but if the salted chocolate terrine is any indication, the execution is equally flawless. It's a thin slice, but since it eats like a cross between dark mousse and ganache, it's more than enough for sharing. Velvety toasted coconut gelato and deeply roasted almonds are perfect (though I wish the nuts had been salted, too).