Valentino Cucina Italiana
Tiramisu ($12) prised how many serious eaters I know have not dined here), then I’m all for the changes. But all things considered, I’d rather spend a little more for that succulent bone-in veal chop with jus (still offered as an occasional special) than breaded fried cutlets, however well prepared.
Even with the changes Valentino isn’t cheap, but there is good value to be had. It’s possible to have a fine Caesar salad ($14), a soulful bucatini Amatriciana ($25) and a glass of wine for less than what a steak costs at some of the newer hot spots around town. That’s a good thing. Cuisine: Modern Italian Cost: Hours: 6-10 p.m Monday-Thursday, 6-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, closed Sunday Reservations: Credit cards: All major Bar: Noise level: Conversational, can get loud when full Wheelchair access: Parking: Valet $4 or metered and free street nearby
Rocchio’s finely tuned kitchen handles nearly everything with aplomb, including veal, beef, pork and specials such as rabbit, venison and foie gras. Fresh fish is caught and delivered by local fishermen (the restaurant now has a license allowing direct purchases). A delicate barrelfish crudo ($21) was particularly good, as was a soft hunk of butterpoached swordfish ($39) surrounded by clam-chowder foam shot through an air-siphon, shelled clams, sunchokes and bacon.
And oh, those housemade pastas. Agnolotti carbonara ($24) is an angelic re-imagining of a heavy dish typically made with spaghetti. Light pillows filled with a cus-