Last week was a delicious tradition for people in and around the Elm City; it was New Haven Restaurant Week! Every April, some of the city’s best restaurants put together a special menu with lunch priced at $16.38 (for the year New Haven was founded) and dinner priced at $29. It’s a great way to try a new restaurant and get some of their specialty dishes at a discounted price.
This year, I went to Consiglio’s on Wooster Street. Most people head to that area for pizza at Pepe’s or Sally’s, but I wanted to try another New Haven staple. It was Wednesday evening, so it wasn’t too crowded, which would have probably been annoying since it’s very small and there isn’t much space to wait other than outside. We got there a little early and were able to sit at the bar while we waited for our table. There were only about four seats at the bar and a couple of high tables, but it was stocked with all the necessities. There was also an impressive wine list as well.
Once we were seated, there were three appetizers to choose from: stuffed mushrooms, Caesar salad, and fried calamari. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and tried the mushrooms. I’ve never had mushrooms before, but I figured if they were going to be made the right way, it would be at Consiglio’s. Plus, they were stuffed with sausage, roasted red peppers, spinach, and mozzarella cheese. The plate came out, and there were only two, but I was so happy with how good they really were. My mushroom standards are pretty high now. I also had a bite of the Caesar salad; it was good, but nothing to write home about.
For dinner, I had chicken amalfi. It’s a fabulous dish comprised of chicken breast, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, balsamic reduction sauce, and linguine. This was something to write home about. I was especially happy with the tomatoes and artichoke hearts, because they tasted fresh and were prepared correctly – I wouldn’t trust a meal like this at a chain restaurant. I was hesitant about the meal when I ordered because I don’t like balsamic too much, but I never realized there was such a difference when it’s reduced. Overall, it was a light dish that left me feeling satisfied.
I also tried the homemade cavatelli and braciole; apparently, a specialty of Consiglio’s. It is hand-rolled pasta and thinly sliced beef, served with tomato sauces. It’s rolled in parmesan and some spices, which give the dish its flavor. I liked it a lot, but was glad I didn’t order it because it wasn’t something I could’ve eaten more than three bites of without feeling full.
Then came dessert. The restaurant week menu had Godiva tiramisu or chocolate mousse cake, so we got one of each. Tiramisu is not my thing, but the cake was amazing. The only way I would’ve enjoyed it more would have been if I were a little less full (but I’m not complaining).
My restaurant week experience was awesome. I left feeling so happy because I tried new things and felt good about what I ate. However, I’m not totally sure when I’ll go back because without the restaurant week specials, the dishes at Consiglio’s are very expensive. It’s definitely a restaurant to go to for a special occasion; graduation isn’t too far away! Just be sure to make reservations, because it’s a small place and something tells me it fills up fast.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Category: Italian, Upscale
Service: Not bad, not great
Aesthetics: Minimal, homey
Atmosphere: This place is about the food, not the atmosphere. Trust me; it won’t be on your mind!