tl;dr: Get there at 10:45 am with at least one friend, maybe two. Order all three pastas and the focaccia. If there’s more than two of you and you’re hungry, order one of the starters too. Never, ever skip the focaccia.
I have a thing for restaurants with seemingly crappy business models. I love a place that takes the customer’s wants and just shoves them in the garbage because they know you’re coming in regardless of whether or not you’re comfortable.
Il Corvo is one of those places, and I love it.
First of all, they’re open Monday through Friday, 11-3. The owner, Mike Easton, wanted a job that would allow him to be with his kids as much as possible, so he apparently decided bitchin’ pasta was it. Second, they have their etiquette listed on the door, which is just about my favorite thing in the world. As a customer, the only thing has ever been a consistent meal-ruiner for me is other customers and their crap manners. A restaurant that takes your experience seriously while showing you that other people will easily take your spot is just what I’m looking for. They care about you enjoying the food, and that’s it. That’s all I want from my restaurants, so Il Corvo and I get along swimmingly.
Now the reason why I’m telling you to go to the place: the pasta. Pasta is my jam. There’s something about chewing through a noodle with the perfect amount of give, teeth bouncing back slightly as they push through the flour and water. Most of the time, it isn’t even about the sauce for me, and that’s what Il Corvo understands.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The sauces are the tops. When I went with my dad, we split the three daily specials and an order of focaccia (more on that later). Each of the sauces was perfectly balanced, the bolognese being especially fantastic. It was like a deeply flavorful meat paste, which sounds horrible, but is actually exactly what you want from a bolognese. Imagine a pot roast made by a grandma slathered all over super wide pappardelle, and that’s what Il Corvo is putting out everyday, along with two other pastas.
The other two pastas that day were a percatelli with basil, parsley, and mint pesto, and a pasta misti with proscuitto, romano beans, and a tomato-duck broth. Both were absolutely unnngh-worthy, but it’s doubtful they will appear on the menu again at the same time because Il Corvo does another thing I love, and that’s using seasonal ingredients! It’s not even about the hipster local food movement for me, but rather that making food out of raw materials that already taste awesome is key to a superior meal.
The underdog of our lunch was the housemade focaccia. My dad is almost as bonkers as I am about eating, so we were waiting at the door around 10:45, first in line when the door opened. This meant that our focaccia was steamy hot, and I honestly have no clue what it’s like near the end of the day. I probably never will, because I will always be first in line when I’m at Il Corvo. Okay, so the focaccia. It was one of those breads that isn’t just pillowy, but also dense. It had some serious heft to it, and was just utterly fantastic to sink into. It was topped with parmesan that was cooked just long enough to get to the edge between cheesy and burny, i.e. perfect. I can’t be positive that the focaccia is always topped with parmesan, but it wasn’t even the best part. THE BURNY CHEESE WASN’T EVEN THE BEST PART, GUYS.