15th Ave near E Madison St.
8/10 on my bangin' scale
Bar Cotto just opened up this winter, so on a visit to Central Cinema, I decided to stop in to try it out. I'm glad I did.
Bar Cotto features salumi, or as I call them, fancy Italian cold cuts. I'd like to say I'm fairly familiar with salumi, since my Italian grandmother always served some assortment of sliced meats ("I got them to cut it paper thin," she'd remark) as appetizers at any family gathering. Just like at Grandma's, we were served family style. Unlike Grandma's, which is 60s-tastic and full of tchotchkes, Bar Cotto has a clean, modern feel.
We asked for the chef's selection of three salumi ($18), and were served generous portions of prosciutto di San Daniele (better than the usual prosciutto di parma, IMO), mortadella (one of my grandmother's favorites, which is just fancy baloney), and some kind of peppery sausage (my personal favorite of the bunch. I don't remember the name... my grandmother is allergic to peppercorns (!), so I couldn't identify it by sight). We ordered the torta fritta ($3), which were just little fried dough balls, and were instructed to wrap the meat around them. Fun!
|3 salumi for $18 with torta fritta.|
The happy hour deals (4-6 pm) were great-- $3 for beer, $6 for house wine selections, $5 for veggie dishes, and $8 for pizzas. We tried a pizza with fennel sausage and rapini ($8), which was really effing good. The crust was thin and very crisp, the sausage was flavorful, and the pizza wasn't too greasy.
|Happy hour deal - $8 pizza with sausage, rapini, mozzarella, tomato|
We also tried the artichokes with mint, pecorino, and breadcrumbs ($9). It was a cold antipasto, and was probably the least memorable of the meal. That having been said, the breadcrumbs were big and crisp, and made the dish much better than a typical, limp artichoke antipasto.