At an Italian festival a few months ago I asked several old-school Italian gentlemen about their favorite restaurants, and they each gave a thumbs-up to Ristorante Agostino, a neighborhood favorite for more than 20 years. An appetizer special of porchetta was two sumptuous slices of slow-roasted, fork-tender suckling pig, served cold and delicately flavored with fresh rosemary. We also had a serving of thinly sliced eggplant, wrapped around a blend of three cheeses and veal and gently blanketed with a light, flavorful tomato sauce that popped with onion and basil. The vitello Agostino--generous slices of milk-fed calf, lightly floured and panfried and served in a tomato-mushroom sauce with fresh artichokes--is the best veal dish I believe Ive ever had. The Agostino family is Calabrese, so its not surprising that they offer an extensive seafood selection. Grigliata mista di pesce is a mixed platter of grilled octopus, shrimp, calamari, and cuttlefish, the last a surprising and pleasant addition. A side of rapini was done up simply with a few red chiles, a perfectly spicy and slightly bitter counterpoint to the rich entrees. After dinner we received a platter of fresh melon, peaches, plums, and apple, along with a large slice of homemade tiramisu, an excellent rendition. You could come here often, eat something different every time, and be very happy.
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