Winter 2008 Restaurant Week: Late Lunch at Osteria Del Circo

3 PM is the no man’s land of dining. It’s too late for lunch and much too early for dinner. That is probably why we (Beelzy and I) were able to get same-day reservation at Osteria del Circo: our gimmick restaurant pick of Restaurant Week advertising “traditional Tuscan home cooking with an array of superb ingredients!” and “dessert all day long!”

The restaurant was fairly empty. A few businessmen sat across from our cozy corner booth. The atmosphere was not as merry as I wanted it to be considering the circus theme. However, there was an uncanny sense of being inside of a circus tent, while simultaneously being in an elegant restaurant. This was achieved through, for example, marriage of perfectly white tablecloths, and festively decorated menus. The restaurant was also shaped in a rough circle, with the bar in the center, and troupes of toy clowns and trapeze acrobats adorning the vaulted ceiling.

I enjoyed the quiet unhurried pace, which did remind me of lackadaisical Italy, except when it came to our appetizers taking a half hour to arrive. 3 PM is also the time the kitchens change over to serve dinner, which explains the sub par foodstuff we received. The ragú, ravioli, stew and salmon that finally arrived were probably just saved from going into the trash.

The highlight of the meal was the Cafe Latte I ordered with my dessert. And although often a so-so taste is compensated with presentation, this was not the case. My Cuttlefish, Chick Pea and Swiss Chard Ragú did not inspire confidence. Beelzy’s Grilled Salmon Guazetto was a slab of grilled fish in a puddle of sauce.

The desserts were better. Beelzy particularly enjoyed his Home Made Sorbet. I, on the other hand, have never been a fan of flan and only ordered the Orange Crème Caramel for your sakes. Beelzy polished it off, and has voices no regrets.

Despite the food betraying my expectations, I enjoyed my experience at Osteria. If you just want a restaurant with an atmosphere and a reputation (built exclusively on a more successful family venture– Le Cirque) where you can spend loads of money to impress friends or business associates, then this is probably the place. But if your palate is the reason you are restauranting about, then go elsewhere.

We close out with the mildly retarded lion menacing clowns


    • beelzy
    • February 20th, 2008

    I enjoyed my food a lot more than ETL did. However, I do agree with her that in the end, this restaurant has nice decour, but the food was not mind-blowing. I would like to note that the waiter I had was nice enough to point out to me that both my appetizer and main course were pastas, and kindly asked me if I would like to try something else, which I appreciated greatly, as I had no clue I had done that. Kudos to the nice waiter!


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