Monday, August 15, 2016

Salvino Cucina Italiana

I've driven past Salvino Cucina Italiana in Greensboro nearly everyday for the past 4 years. After several recommendations from friends all across the Triad, I decided I was long overdue for a visit. This place is a local favorite and somewhat of a hidden gem: it's located in a strip mall, off of Battleground Road, in a pretty unassuming spot. But on a Friday night in August, every single table was full. Reservations are strongly encouraged. The word is out - ask anyone who has been and they'll agree that Salvino is fantastic.

The first time I had escargot was in Paris at the Moulin Rouge. It doesn't get much more authentic than that, but Salvino has an outstanding rendition of this appetizer. 6 tender snails are sauteed in butter, garlic and shallots and served in a dish with individual cups that encourages you to dip their homemade bread in each little nook to get every bite of buttery goodness. If you haven't had escargot, Salvino is a great place to start. They remind me of mussels, both texturally and flavor-wise, but one of my dining partners remarked that they're less briny than the seafood. This is a hit.

I was advised to get the Pasta & Fagioli Soup over the salad when given the option. Cannellini beans and spaghetti noodles swim in a smoky broth made from housemade chicken stock. That's what makes this soup so special, not to mention the underlying notes of bacon. The broth would be good on its own, but the beans and noodles give it great texture.

Linguine Pescatore is my go-to in Italian restaurants. Coppola's in Winston-Salem and Giada's Trattoria in Kernersville have great renditions, but Salvino takes it to another level. The linguine is perfectly al dente and coated in a simple garlicky, buttery, thin marinara sauce. It's studded with shrimp, scallops, clams and mussels. There's just a pop of heat to make me notice and appreciate it. I love this dish and Salvino has my new favorite version.

One of the specials that evening was Branzini, a white fish seared just long enough to get a slightly crispy crust. It was served with angel hair pasta, asparagus and tomatoes, making for a nice and light summer dish. While this was good, the special that slayed the Branzini was the Lamb Shank. The server joked that he wouldn't bring a knife for this dish because it was so tender. It literally slid right off the bone. It had an incredibly unctuous umami flavor, and the mashed potatoes that came with it were garlicky and way better than a boring old mash. The brown gravy brought out the natural savory flavor of the meat, and roasted carrots and green beans had just a bit of sweetness to balance the dish. I would get this anytime it's available.

While it's never been on my must-have list, fans of Veal should get the Vitello al Marsala. It won't leave you hungry. 3 veal cutlets are served in a Marsala wine sauce, with mushrooms and spaghetti giving nice texture to the dish. Marsala is one of those polarizing flavors, but there's no denying that when it's done right, it has an incredible depth of savory and almost tangy flavor. In case you couldn't guess, Salvino does it right.

Limoncello is one of my favorite things in the world. When it's combined with mascarpone cheese and frosted onto a yellow cake, you can call me a happy girl. This housemade dessert presents a moist cake with a bright pop of lemon, but the mascarpone makes it just rich enough that you don't inhale every bite. It's so pretty too, nice and light and yellow!

Salvino would be a great first date place, a nice spot to take your parents, or even a place to host a rehearsal or retirement dinner in the private room. The bar area is separated from the rest of the restaurant so you could just post up with a Dirty Martini and an order of escargot and watch the game! That's probably what I'll be doing this weekend. I can't wait to go back.

2 comments:

  1. Once again, another excellent description of an up-and-coming restaurant. Great article! Salvino sounds absolutely delicious. Thanks for making me take my lunch break early today! Beautifully written, as always.

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    1. I appreciate your comments!! Thank you so much for your encouragement!!

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