March 28, 2012

Pompilio's

I recently met some friends at Pole Kittens, located right across the street from Pompilio’s, for a fitness class.  We ended up going to Pompilio's both before and after class.  We were so surprised to find that it was Greater Cincinnati Independent Restaurant Week!  How did I miss this?! Pompilio’s is at the top of my favorite restaurants list; I adore the atmosphere and the eggplant parmesan equally.   

For our pre-workout appetizers we split the spinach artichoke dip, calamari and toasted ravioli.  The spinach artichoke dip was VERY rich and creamy.  The fried tortillas had a nice, nutty flavor to them but the creamy sauce with the fried tortilla pieces weighed me down a little.  This serving is very generous and can easily be enough of an appetizer for 3 or 4 people.
The calamari was served differently than I've had it in any other restaurant.  I'm used to plain fried calamari with a slightly sweet dipping sauce.  Pomilio's calamari was served atop a combination of tomatoes and green and black olives and I really liked the salty/briny element the olives brought to the dish. 
 The toasted ravioli was good but not great.  It didn't have as much flavor as I was hoping for, but their red sauce can make the most bland food taste delicious.  I think baking the ravioli until it starts to brown on the outside would add some additional flavor.
I want to mention that if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck during restaurant week you should really consider Pompilio’s.  This was my first GCI restaurant week experience and from what I’ve heard and read online, service can be slow and some restaurants do not create their highest-quality meals during this time.  Our experience at Pomilio’s was just as good as any other time I’ve dined there and all of the items were full servings!  I took home ½ of everything and basically had food to eat for the rest of the weekend. 
For my appetizer I chose the sausage with green peppers and onions.  The sausage was nicely flavored and I liked the level of spice.  It was served with a small bowl of marinara for dipping.  When I re-heated this dish the next day I poured the sauce over everything and let it heat in the oven; it tasted even better the next day.
My friend ordered the bruschetta to start and she shared a piece with me.  The sliced baguette was generously topped with mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil and the most perfect drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  Shining star of the evening!
For my entrée I had an easy time choosing the scallops with angel hair pesto.  It was lovely.  I’ve had pesto at other restaurants that is so heavy on the basil that I could only eat more than a few bites.  Pompilio’s pesto sauce was much more of a lightweight, slightly creamy pesto with just enough basil/garlic that it did not take over the entire dish and complemented the 5 slightly crispy/slightly breaded scallops.  This dish also included sun dried tomatoes but I could have taken them or left them. 

I never have room for dessert after dining at Pompilio’s, and this evening wasn't any different, but it was the final course on the fixed price menu so I welcomed it with open arms.   None of the desserts are made in-house because Pomilio's focus is on making their own signature sauces and other dishes from scratch.  I went with the Tiramisu which was delicious and probably the same product served at Olive Garden.  The first time I tried Tiramisu it was at the Olive Garden so I guess I have a special place for it in my heart.

We had a wonderful time dining at Pompilio's twice in one day for restaurant week.  Hope to do it again!  I also hope to re-visit Pole Kittens Fitness, such an awesome workout!

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