Saturday, December 9, 2017

Ask For Luigi

Ask for Luigi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Ask for Luigi is a cozy restaurant in a sort-of-sketchy neighborhood charging fine dining prices for fine dining food and thankfully, fine dining quality service -- friendly staff with easy smiles and a server quick to put you at ease if you show signs of being daunted by the menu. No pretentious attitude here.

It's been a while since I went to a fine dining restaurant so with only one glass of wine at the table I must admit to initially being fazed by the nearly-$100 (before tip) cheque. The location just didn't add up to fine dining pricey-renovation-ambiance but the food was competitive and prices aren't hidden on the online menu.
I might be tempted to ding them for price, except that their portions are actually NOT skimpy, unlike fine dining places, especially those that suggest you order to share (e.g., Nightingale, being one of my more recent dining experiences).

Get there half an hour early to be first in line. They seat only full parties so doesn't matter who's first -- just be ready first. On a cold Saturday night my friend and I were second in line but first seated because our entire party of two were already there.

(Pictures were taken with smartphone light on, to counter the dim yellowish light).

green salad, chestnuts, pecorino & date vinaigrette ($15)
  • Tastes better than it looks. Remember to look under the veggies for chestnut chunks.
2017-Dec-9 - Ask for Luigi - green salad

crispy polenta, chicken liver ragù & piave ($18)
  • For an appy the portion you get is a light meal in the two big chunks of polenta. Together they are about the volume of a cube of tofu.
  • The polenta is white and creamy on the inside, fun and crispy on the outside (ours came served nicely hot).
  • Polenta is very bland so make sure to pair each bite with the liver. Liver itself is not strongly bitter or pungent so it's ok on its own, but it's nicer to have the flavour tempered a bit more with the polenta.
  • I would personally have preferred the polenta chunks to be further divided into half thickness as I found the thickness combined with the creamy softness a bit unwieldy, like eating a thick porridge with a fork and knife.
  • Overall taste is OK unless you happened to get too many bland bites.
2017-Dec-9 - Ask for Luigi - crispy polenta

2017-Dec-9 - Ask for Luigi - crispy polenta

pappardelle, kale & oyster mushrooms ($26)
  • My friend's order and I did get to just try a sample.
  • Good-sized portion!
  • Lovely texture to the pasta.
  • Minced anchovy (?) added a nice flavour without being too dominant.
2017-Dec-9 - Ask for Luigi - pappardelle

2017-Dec-9 - Ask for Luigi - pappardelle

raviolo all'uovo & porchetta ($25)
  • Portion is actually decent because there's an amount of veggie and porchetta under that single huge ravioli that hides an egg with soft yolk.
  • The idea as conveyed to us by our server was to cut the ravioli and let the eggy goodness ooze out into the dish. There was some oozing but not as much as I had anticipated. I think I should have maybe dug out the remaining egg and cheese and mixed it into the veggies, but separately the dish was fine.
  • Very flavourful vegetables. Looks like it's swimming in olive oil but there wasn't a sense of oiliness when I ate it.
  • The veggies were very flavourful so that nudged this up from okay to tasty.
  • When I asked for what was weird on the menu, this was one of the nominees (the other being crispy tripe and tripe just isn't that weird to me so I passed on that). So the menu at Ask for Luigi is pretty safe no matter what you order.
2017-Dec-9 - Ask for Luigi - raviolo all'uovo

2017-Dec-9 - Ask for Luigi - raviolo all'uovo

2017-Dec-9 - Ask for Luigi - raviolo all'uovo

2017-Dec-9 - Ask for Luigi