Brick Oven

After being rained out twice for some wine, cheese, and charcuterie in our backyard, we headed over to Peasant Peasant with Angie, Sara, and Winnie.  Since it was also Jessica’s birthday (+/- a few days) we celebrated that as well.

Peasant seems small from the outside, but inside, it opens wider towards the backs.  The concrete floors and walls open to a rustic decor and brick-laden open kitchen.  The space feels inviting and open.  While there are many tables, it doesn’t feel crowded.  We met Angie and Winnie at the bar, they were sipping red and rose wines and eating some lightly salted olives in a tapas-style cozuela.  I snacked on one and it was quite tasty.

We moved to our table in the back.  From our vantage point we could see a large brick oven with a baby pig hanging from the side.  We licked our lips and snacked on the rustic bread with ricotta cheese spread.  The bread was chewy and nice, but I thought the spread was mediocre while Jessica really liked it.

Rustic Bread with Ricotta

We ordered many dishes to share and the waitress was happy to accommodate and serve in courses.

Bocconcini with Speck

The Bocconcini with Speck arrived first (followed shortly by others). We were surprised to see it served hot: the mozzarella melted down with the speck just heated until tight. We enjoyed it, but felt like it might have been better just warm, instead of melting.

Pizza with Arugala and Speck

We couldn’t leave well enough alone in regards to the speck… we also ordered a Pizza with Arugala and Speck. The thin crust was alright, but the sauce was really lacking, both in terms of distinction and quantity. We also felt the speck was sparse and oddly there were two pieces of the pizza remaining when the busboy came around later to clear. Don’t worry, I grabbed them before the plate left, but usually that wouldn’t have happened.


The two seafood dishes were a bit better. The first were lightly breadcrumb sprinkled cuttlefish in an oily tomato sauce. The oil had a wonderful flavor and we all used this to dredge bread. I felt the cuttlefish were cooked perfectly and the touch of breading added the needed crispness. Angie was concerned they were a bit chewy. We all agree the sauce was the winner of the dish.

Spicy Baby Octopus

The other thing we agreed upon was that the Spicy Baby Octopus was the best appetizer we ordered. The octopus was cooked to perfection. The best thing to do with seafood is keep it simple and don’t overcook. The octopus was just wonderful and the sauce was lightly tangy.

Spaghetti Vongole

Apparently seafood is done well at Peasant, because the Spaghetti Vongole in our pasta course was also wonderful. It was loaded with clams and what I believe were hand formed, skinned tomato balls (the size of cherry tomatoes). The pasta was chewy and a bit thick, but the biggest problem was that there just wasn’t enough noodle. It’s rare to see an unbalanced pasta dish where there is more seafood than pasta.

Tagliatelli with Rabbit

Our second pasta plate was Tagliatelle with Rabbit. The sauce was luscious, made thick with cream and accented by fava beans. The pasta was rolled too thick for any of our taste and there wasn’t enough rabbit in the dish, but I wiped the plate clean to get all of that sauce.

Before moving on to the entrees, I’ll highlight the wine we drank, even though we didn’t get a photo. It was a 2007 Pinot & Toi, an Italian blend of Tocai Friulano, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Blanc priced very low, under $15 in stores and $24 at Peasant. It’s a light wine that went well with our cheeses and seafood dishes.

Brick Oven and Suckling Pig

After seeing the pig next to the oven we had to have it, so we ordered it for one of our entrees.

Suckling Pig

It wasn’t the largest portion, especially for the price, but it didn’t matter because we were getting full and frankly it wasn’t particularly good. The skin was nice, but the meat lacked flavor. The potatoes were waxy and cooked correctly but oddly sweetened (with possibly sugar). Sadly, this mediocre offering, which seemed very work intensive, was the best of the last course.


The sweetbreads were interesting. They cooked them perfectly, soft inside and just taught on the outside. Except for Winnie, who loves salt, and ate most of the dish, the rest of us felt the creamy sauce with mushrooms (morels maybe?) was too rich and too salty to be paired with the cholesterol-rich glands. Moreover, I believe the standard approach to preparing sweetbreads include brining and milk-poaching, they don’t need more salt and milk in the sauce.

Creamy Polenta

The salt fest continued in the Creamy Polenta side dish. Angie and I were so excited over this dish when ordered we high-fived. However, that excitement was ended easily by the first taste. We sent the dish back because of how salty it was, only to be told by the waitress that the chef said it was done correctly. Um, no. Even Jessica and Winnie who love salt, couldn’t eat it.

Broccoli Rabe

The Broccoli Rabe was a bit better, but pretty boring. Not much to say here.

Birthday Almond Bread Pudding

Happily, we ended the meal on an up-note, with delicious Almond Bread Pudding topped with Vanilla Ice Cream. The dessert was just caramelized on the outside and smooth and soft inside. The heat melted the rich ice cream and it became a lovely sauce.

We won’t be going back to Peasant, we don’t have extra calories to waste on mediocre restaurants. The wine list is very strong, the service is good, the atmosphere is lovely, but the food just didn’t make the cut.

posted by Lon at 11:34 AM Filed under Italian, Restaurants, Wine Bar. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.