We had a nice little lunch at Russo's house this weekend. Having missed brunch hours we were looking for somewhere new close by to try out. Italian isn't something we tend to eat out very much (an easy thing to prepare well at home, and often overpriced at restaurants). Russo's house is somewhere we have often passed by, nestled up by 1st Avenue and University this homely little spot is quite small, with a nice patio outside to take up some rays (although May Gray doesn't seem to be offering us too many).
Going through the menu we settled on a couple of fresh looking pasta dishes. A nice touch at Russo's house is the ability to chose from a wide selection of different noodles with your chosen sauce. I should point out that at this point, (having missed brunch and not yet eaten) we were absolutely starving, and therefore a little disappointed not be offered some bread or something whilst we waited for our meal. Still, the service was quite fast and we sat in the calming patio sipping on a crisp, and very reasonably priced Chardonnay.
Our pasta arrived and was very nice, I suppose I always feel, as mentioned before that this is something that I could have quite easily prepared at home, but it is nice to be pampered on a Sunday afternoon. The ingredients were very fresh, diced tomatoes, frehs herbs, capers and garlic combinign to make a wonderful dish. The higlight for me was the italian sausage which really added a great dimension, evoking flavors i haven't tasted since my last trip to Italy.
Still having some Chardonnay left our waiter persuaded us to grab a small dessert to share to end the meal. We settled on a lemon cheesecake. The cheesecake was good mainly because cheesecake is always good- it was by no means spectacular however the lemon too faint, the cake not rich enough and the crust hardly there. Still cheesecake is always good and we reflected for a little while on how strange it is that so much of the food we enjoy comes from 2 animal species..... and then we came to the less pleasant part of meal- finding a thick black hair in the center of the cake. I'm not sure what it is about finding hairs, but it really can be pretty gross, particularly when contrasted against the creamy white texture of the cake. Luckily for the staff I think we were certainly mellowed by the Chardonnay and did not make a big deal. Our waiter handled everything incredibly well, managing to make a joke of the whole thing whilst also being extremely apologetic and, of course, comping us for a new cake.
Well, don't let our hair experience put you off this nice little restaurant- at least ti shows the food is being home made! If you are looking for good reasonably priced Italian fare Russo's house is a good bet.