Review: Walter's

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 11, 2009

Five pastas and risotto are listed with twice that number of main dishes — half seafood, half meat — under "Secondi." We sometimes share a pasta as a second course before having individual third courses, but we each ordered separately this time. Johnette considered the salmon steak ($25), which was poached with a shrimp and tomato cream sauce, and served over risotto.

But instead she chose the pesce al'Ebraisca ($22), since Potenza is a prominent promoter of Italian Jewish cuisine. Lightly egg-battered and fried, the haddock had spinach above and below, all resting in a lemony pool of white wine and garlic, slightly sweetened with honey. It was well appreciated.

There are several dishes that are baked in terracotta, another Potenza specialty. I had the fiaccheraia ($19), bowtie pasta with pieces of chicken and pancetta in a red sauce, patches of melted pecorino cheese on top. It was all quite delicious. A similar version is tossed with a ragu of wild boar.

For dessert, our eyes lit up seeing fig gelato listed. But they were out, so we went with old favorites. Her chocolate torte ($8) was accompanied by sliced strawberries that were lightly sweetened, to lessen their off-season acidity.

My amareno cherries on gelato ($7) was almost a no-show, because they were out of vanilla. Good news: chocolate tastes good under those syrupy, marinated cherries. Bad news: this gelato was coarse, crystalline; Big deal. After that fine meal, I'd have settled for a slushie.

Bill Rodriguez can be reached atbill@billrod.com.

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