I’ve been blessed to find friends who like food as much as I do. When my pal Gabrielle sent me a link for a seven-course tasting menu offer that she found on Groupon, I didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation. Slow Sud is a restaurant that focuses on “street food” that originates from the south of Italy. However, the fixed menu that we had featured more “full” courses as opposed to street food specialities. Not pictured are the prosecco and wine that we drank, which were included in the tasting menu.
One of the more abundant courses was the first, which included several appetizers:
- Cold swordfish in a simple sauce of olive oil, orange peel, and black peppercorns
- Componata (compote of eggplant, tomato, onions, and herbs)
- Roasted eggplant with oil and herbs (including mint)
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Raw tuna served on toasted bread with an onion marmalade, pistachios, and mint
The swordfish was fantastic. The orange and black pepper created the perfect flavor combination to complement the fish. The componata was flavorful, but not particularly memorable. The eggplant and tomatoes were nothing out of the ordinary, although the tomatoes were sweeter than other sun-dried varieties that I’ve had before. Finally, the tuna appetizer was good, but not great. I liked the combo of flavors created by the onion, pistachio, and mint, but the plate overall was nothing outstanding.
Il Primo Piatto
This pasta was my personal favorite of the entire meal: tagliolini noodles with grouper fillet, raisins, pine nuts, and wild fennel. This dish felt the most “southern” to me. The herby sauce had a freshness and richness that transported me to a beach on the Sicilian coast. I also am a big fan of marrying raisins, pine nuts, and fish together; the salty-sweet-nutty phenomenon is delightful. While I know for a fact this dish would taste better had it actually been prepared in southern Italy, the restaurant did a good job of replicating the flavors.
Il Secondo Piatto
The main dish perplexed me a bit. It was almost identical to the tuna appetizer we had eaten minutes before. Why would the restaurant put two tuna-based items served with the same pairings on the same menu? This is a question I will never know the answer to. After all, it’s not like either of the tuna dishes knocked my socks off.
The main course was fillet of tuna (cooked) with an onion marmalade and pistachios, served with bitter chicory. This dish couldn’t possibly impress me considering that I had already eaten its twin as an appetizer. While tasty, it was not exceptional.
The dessert was a “deconstructed” cannoli. Essentially, the plate was cannoli wafers served with ricotta cream filling, chocolate chips, and more pistachios. I was a little underwhelmed with the dessert seeing that the south of Italy is very well-known for its pastries and this dish didn’t do them any justice. At a restaurant fixated on southern cuisine, this should be reflected in the desserts as well as the main menu.
- Probably better for apps and drinks than a full meal
- Fair prices
- Food does a good job of imitating southern Italian cuisine, but it’s not the “best of the best”