Italian food is meant to be enjoyed with a view, even if the scene outside the window is a small, man-made pond with a tiered water fountain. The dining room at Mi Piaci has maintained its charm for 20 years, partly because of this view, but also by continuing to upgrade the quality of food coming from the kitchen. Last fall, the restaurant hired a new chef, Ross Demers, to fiddle with the menu, which always contained house-made pasta. Now you’ll find squid ink pasta and malfatti con cinghiale, a flat, wide noodle covered with wild boar ragu, two of my favorite Italian specialties. Sadly, the squid ink pasta was sold out on the evening I visited, so I ordered the ragu. When asked for another suggestion, our server offered no help. “Everything we have is good,” he said. We continued to probe, but he never offered an opinion, which is an annoying trait for someone meant to be “of service.” The perfect peach and prosecco Bellini kept me from losing my patience as we agonized over entrées. We picked a veal scaloppini Marsala. Both dishes were beautifully presented but flawed. The “hand-torn” noodles were overcooked and globbed together in a solid mass despite the fact that they were covered in sauce. I cut it with a knife and ate it like I would a frittata. The thin veal was tough and dry, but a little extra wild mushroom sauce and some crispy roasted potatoes corrected the original sin. My friend tried to rectify the situation by using the logic that “most restaurants are bad on Monday nights,” which makes no sense to me. The price for each entrée is more than $20 every day of the week.
For more information on Mi Piaci, please visit our restaurant guide.