Caffe Bravo: Old School With a Twist
My initial impression of Caffe Bravo was the service seemed diner-like and the interior was early bland. But once seated, I ate the best Italian meal I’ve had in the last 87 hours, (hey, it’s New Haven).
I started off with the creamy, crunchy Chopped Salad: a mix of peppery greens with a blend of olives, goat cheese, carrots, and onions – all dressed with a bright and barely-there Citrus Vinaigrette. Next: toothsome orechiette; tiny ear-shaped pasta served with figs, prosciutto, porcini, artichokes and shaved parmesan in truffle oil. Every bite was a sweet-salty-tangy taste explosion. If nirvana is your thing, order the Lasagna con Spinaci. Each portion is assembled to order, no leaden casserole here. The freshly cooked noodles layered wth a generous portion of seasoned spinach with a light bechamel and tomato sauce was luxuriously simple.
The dessert menu has all the classics, and I took one for the team, taste-testing the individually baked Tiramisu and Limoncello Mascarpone Cake – both worth the trip.
Caffe Bravo is moderately priced; appetizers are from $10-17, and except for the $20 Nicoise, the salads were under $9 and entrees in the $20-29 range. I recommend reservations; the regulars are very pampered here. The place sits on the residential end of Orange Street, and parking isn’t a problem. And for summer lovers, the outdoor dining gives you that perfect urban edge to go with their new special watermelon-mint-feta-salad!
www.caffebravo.com 794 Orange Street, New Haven