Sunday, February 21, 2010

Radio Milano Tastecasting Event

On January 27th, Brian and I participated in another Tastecasting event - this time at Radio Milano - a trendy italian restaurant in the Arcadia area. I recognized the area because it was my paternal grandparents' and dad's old stomping grounds. Funny thing is that it is a few doors down from a former seamstress's business that my maternal grandma used to use.  The area has seen some urban renewal and there are some other trendy restaurants/stores in that area.

The tasting went well and I enjoyed the great atmosphere - low lighting, couches and high tables/chairs, and industrial-esque setting (exposed cement walls, wood beams, metal accents - similar to Chipotle but higher class).

The place was very busy with a steady stream of various clientele.  Even the valet parking in the small lot didn't discourage eager patrons.

i (brian) also enjoyed the trendy atmosphere.  the windows in the restaurant reminded me of windows you would see on a ship.  a couple reminded me of port windows.  i noticed they did little things to hold to the "radio" theme.  they had the classic "on the air" indicator hanging on one of the walls as well as an abstract painting which included the words "stay tuned".  the staff of radio milano was very attentive and made sure everything was to our liking.
Among the seven of us, we sampled a variety of appetizers, entrees and wonderful desserts.  One of the fellow Tastecasters has a wonderful review about the yumminess.

as for the food, i (brian) was impressed with most of it.  they served 4 appetizers to us.  deviled eggs, crispy calamari, shattered potato chips & caprese salad.  the shattered potato chips were definitely my favorite, mainly because of the ketchup/chipotle mayo dip sauce that came with it.  i normally do not enjoy mayo, so that should tell you something.  the calamari was my 2nd favorite.  nice & crispy.  no rubberiness to it, which is my biggest concern with that dish.

The appetizers were a nice variety of items. I enjoyed the tomatoes and burrata cheese.  The toms were slightly charred and the cheese was very soft and fresh.

The deviled eggs were like my thanksgiving deviled eggs only 10 times better! The red pepper, onion and bacon were a nice blend of flavors and an accurate acidity.

I (Julie) also liked the smashed potatoes, as crispy as they were with the compliments of the mayo.

the main dish i (brian) had was the roasted organic chicken with potatoes and beans.  it was a large portion and the smell of garlic that came wafting to my nostrils when it was set before me immediately told me it was a winner.  the chicken skin had a nice carmelized, juicy texture and the meat inside was just as juicy.

I (Julie) ended up having the papardelle which was described as having butternut squash, asparagus, brocolini and was disappointed when the dish arrived and only had sugar snap peas, tomatoes and goat cheese among the soft homemade noodles. The dish had a nice light flavor and was a great vegetarian dish even though it was missing the first few ingredients named above.  One person next to me, who is a regular at Radio Milano, says that each dish is often unique because of the availability of ingredients for each dish.  Perhaps they were out of butternut squash, asparagus and brocolini that night.
naturally the entrees were followed with dessert.   radio milano had us sample 3 of the desserts they offer.  gelato (pistachio, orange and hazelnut), olive oil cake and chocolate pudding.

i (brian) surprisingly discovered the olive oil cake to be my favorite.  it had a nice sweet moistness to it that had my tastebuds asking for more.  i know.  olive oil cake?  i honestly did not think i would like it before i tried it.  i was happily surprised.

Radio Milano is closed on Sunday and only open for dinner.  They use a mesquite grill to cook with and it brings a nice flavor to the dishes.  Others that night sampled the small chopped salad, scallops, cowboy ribeye steak, linguine and clams and a sunny meatball crostini.  We would recommend Radio Milano for a nice meal!