Spinasse does Northern Italian with serious soul and expertise. The pasta is the best in the city—it’s tender and yolky and delicious every time. Wild boar ragù with fried sage leaves; squash ravioli with sage butter and crushed amaretti; and maltagliati with chickpeas and prosciutto are just a few of the preparations that have floored us.
Mains are equally good; whether venison, pork, rabbit, or quail, meat is coaxed to extreme tenderness here. And occasionally there’s something that isn’t cooking in every kitchen in town, like goat sausage. Spinasse has a very strong, well-chosen list of Italian wines, along with great aperitifs (Cynar and soda, etc) and digestifs. The only thing that doesn’t shine is the dessert menu. Desserts are sometimes almost over-the-top in their simplicity, like half a nectarine filled with marscapone. Not that it matters much; if you make it through two or three courses you’ll barely have room for a ladyfinger. The all-Italian wine list is carefully chosen, filled with old-school bottles.
Spinasse went for the Italian farmhouse feel—lace curtains, wood beams, and pottery throughout—and they nailed it. The place could only be more rustic if they threw dirt on the floors and let some donkeys live in the kitchen. If you sit at the bar at the early part of the evening, you can see the pasta teased into existence.
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