Enoteca Roma


Alright, you’re the first to know, Gail and I are moving to Italy. ‘Twas nice knowing you. We may actually be settled in by the time you read this. If we didn’t say goodbye, well, goodbye. Visit lots.

Why, you ask? Well, mostly because we were inspired by the beauty and simplicity of the polenta at Enoteca Roma, 2146 W. Division ($12). It’s served just “like they do in the Northern Italian countryside.” Yeah, so that’s where we’re moving, to the countryside. Gonna purchase us a farmhouse, bring in some running water, get a bunch of flat screens, and furnish the whole thing with Ikea furniture. Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

It’s quite a production at this polenteria (yes, I do say that in my head with an Italian accent and I roll the rrrr like a madman). First, they bring a slab of marble out to your table. They set it there about five minutes before the actual polenta comes. You look at the marble and say to yourself, “are you actually going to just pour the polenta on that, or set a bowl of it on that…what gives, my fine romance language-speaking friends?”

Well, they pour it. The wait staff brings a ceramic vat of steaming polenta and just pours it evenly in the center of the plate and smooths it out with a wooden spoon. Then the toppings come out, also in a ceramic vat, and also poured evenly across the top of the polenta. You give it a few seconds to set up and then use the spatula to serve it on your own plate.

They have three versions of the polenta, we ordered the four cheese version. It was a delectable sauce made with Gorgonzola, Taleggio, pecorino Romano, and Parmesan. They have one option with sausage and another with venison bolognese. We had already had a sausage and lentil appetizer, so we went with the four cheese. Something special my friends…something special.

But that’s not it. You have so many options here. The bruschetta is really original and one could actually refer to this place as a bruschetteria without fear of reprisal. They have pizza, soups, great appetizers, and pasta. Plus, it’s right next to Letizia’s Natural Bakery (they are connected) so you can just wander over there and get some dessert. Finally, the outdoor patio is easily a top 20 patio in town.