Best Risotto (2005)

Taverna Pizzeria and Risottoria

Risotto is a fickle mistress. Demote it from the center of attention, and she will kick you where jewels reign. Stir it improperly, and you will hang your head in a mush of starchy shame. But get it right...Taverna's risotto ai frutti di mare is this: clams, mussels, calamari and shrimp--loads of all of it. All of it is fresh and cleanly sweet, perspiring subtle layers of marine sweat. Coarse grains of rice are creamy yet firm and distinct, well speckled with pepper. Risotto agli scampi e zucchini is good, too. Juicy, briny shrimp dance through pesto stains and thin threads of fried carrot over the top of the risotto mound. They behave like sweet-potato shavings, playing off the sweetness of the shrimp while mimicking the pesto pine nut motif. Genius, that. Don't try this with Uncle Ben's.


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