Review: Local 121

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 18, 2011

We had the other two dishes. My three light Giannone Farms chicken meatballs, "polpetti," were accompanied by a half-dozen porcini mushroom tortellini and thin stalks of broccolini, in chicken broth and topped with inch-wide shavings of grana padana. It all worked nicely together, although my tasty pasta packets were badly undercooked — and I'm big on al dente.

Across from me an interesting preparation was being enjoyed: approaching the taste of pate in seeming meatiness was a small soufflé of tofu, walnuts, and mushrooms, in a puddle of mushroom jus. The accompanying chunks of well-browned roasted pumpkin and vinegary pickled beets were smart complements.

The kitchen is headed by exec chef Dave Johnson, with Michael Iannotti his sous chef. They make all their desserts there, including several ice creams. We chose their expresso-ish coffee ice cream to go with a brown-butter brioche bread pudding, which was under-sweetened to make the maple cream sauce and candied pecans stand out. Outstanding.

We've come a long way since the 1970s, when Alice Waters and her Chez Panisse in Berkeley began popularizing local resources for what we eat. It's no longer a fad. And here and there a restaurant like Local 121 demonstrates that doing the right thing can taste exceptional as well.

Bill Rodriguez can be reached at bill@billrod.com.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Restaurant Reviews , pumpkin, food, Alice Waters,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY BILL RODRIGUEZ
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   GENDER BENDERS  |  September 17, 2014
    Gender confusion has probably been around for as long as gender conflicts.
  •   SIMONE'S  |  September 17, 2014
    In the Rhode Island tradition of giving directions like “it’s where the coffee milk factory used to be,” Simone’s is located where Not Your Average Bar & Grille and the ice cream shop Supreme Dairy used to be.
  •   FALL ARTS PREVIEW | THEATER: STORIES ACHING TO BE TOLD  |  September 10, 2014
    From 'Eleemosynary' to 'Hype Hero.'
  •   THE WAR WITHIN  |  September 10, 2014
    A compelling combination of intelligent text and thoroughly inhabited performance.
  •   A MOST MISERABLE MAN  |  September 10, 2014
    There is a good reason that Anton Chekhov’s Ivanov isn’t staged often.

 See all articles by: BILL RODRIGUEZ