Fantastic meal at Charcoal last night with family. I have heard about the place for brunch, but I would say they have a wonderful dinner menu. My husband thought the portions were on the smaller side, which they were, especially for the price point. But I think they were perfect, by European standards anyway. With that said, we ordered most dishes on the menu between the two of us and kids.
Bread: while we would not typically order bread, it is a must here! For $5 you get a pretty generous 4 slices with a nice slab of very soft butter. The texture, the crust, the soft inside, it was all to die for! Or maybe it's that I have not had bread in years - anyway, you must try it!
Apps: we had the calamari, tuna and seasonal heirloom tomato salad. All three were excellent. Tasty and mixture of textures and flavors. Although I probably would have skipped the tuna, just not that exciting or memorable.
Pasta: same as with bread, it is not something I would typically order or eat. Their pasta is to die for however. My husband and I ordered Cacio e Pepe Bucatini, and my 6 year old daughter practically devoured the whole portion before we finally told her that it was actually not the kids pasta with butter that she ordered. Speaking of the kids pasta, both kids got one with butter and cheese, the other with tomato sauce and it was delicious as well. And a nice surprise at only $5 a plate.
Entrees: I decided to throw all caution to the wind and go all out by ordering Yardley hot chicken, which is actually fried chicken! I don't remember the last time I ordered chicken, let alone a fried kind, but let me tell you, it was worth every single calorie. The portion was large, 4 pieces of mostly thin breast meat. Battered and friend to create the crunchiest crust ever. I had the hot sauce on the side, as was splitting it with kids, but I bet it would have been that much better if the sauce was poured on the chicken as soon as it came out of the fryer. Pure heaven.
My husband had the steak. Perfectly cooked, but for me lacked personality or the fatty sear that melts in your mouth. I almost want to think it was maybe sous vided (is that even a word?) and not seared enough at the end...I could be wrong.
As if all this gluttony wasn't enough, we decided to try the Rigatoni with meatloaf marinara. Again, excellent. I cannot say it enough, pasta is fresh and delicious. As it would be in Italy. A must try!
Dessert was shared between the kids, with me snaking in a spoonful for a taste test. Ok, maybe it was two spoonfuls. Polenta Budino - very sweet and rich. I supposed as it should be anyway.
A short word on service. If you want the table by the window, apparently you need to specifically request it in your reservation. We did not know this. I guess a request for social occasion: "anniversary" that I places, did not justify getting a window table. In fact, come to think of it, our special request was not acknowledged at all, what's the point of asking to specify a special occasion then? Overall, we were not impressed with service and I will just leave it at that. Would definitely go back though, as well as recommend.
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