Eat This // Seared Octopus

May 30, 2014
Spuntino food and wine is one of those neighborhood eateries that make dining out so much more appealing than cooking in. Situated in the highland neighborhood, they are within walking distance of so many homes; one of the many reasons why this small restaurant is bustling, even on weeknights. The italian-inspired seasonal food is matched perfectly by the charming and minimal space, along with staff who are eager and helpful to make your dining experience great. 

On my last visit a couple weeks ago, I bellied up to the bar for a glass wine and a light dinner. The cavatelli pasta I had was rustic and hearty, perfect for the cool night. However, what really stood out was the polpo (octopus in italian) appetizer I had to start off my meal. Not only was the cooking technique one I had not seen before, the flavors were ridiculously good. 

Spuntino's take on calamari is taking the octopus tentacles (that most restaurants slice and drop into a batter and fry) and molding them into a sausage-like shape using a thin casing. The 'calamari sausage' is then suveed, slow cooked in a water bath, resulting in a very tender and delicate texture. To finish off the calamari, spuntino then slices the cooked product and sears it up on the flattop before plating it with crispy fingerling potatoes, smoky chorizo sausage, house-made peperonicini peppers and a bright, herbaceous chimichurri sauce. It sounds complex but each ingredient on the plate compliments the octopus and brings amazing flavor to each bite.  

I know my next visit to spuntino will undoubtedly include an order of the polpo. While it seemed very foreign, the flavors and ingredients were very approachable and beyond delicious to taste. 


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