Though executive chef Ted Schneider was trained to cook in the American style, his new restaurant Da Vinci features Mediterranean and Southern Italian influences. Schneider hesitates to limit himself or the restaurant with a label, though; instead the concept is, “Simple food, done well, with the finest ingredients we can get, whether it’s a truffle from France or a Palisade peach.” Each week the menu will feature something new, Schneider said, in order to “perpetually best itself.”
If you squint, you might be able to imagine yourself part of the Italian countryside portrayed in a hand-painted mural adorning one wall of the intimate restaurant. The dining room can seat 60 guests while the cozy private dining room ” which will offer a chef’s tasting menu ” holds another 14 people.
Silvery white anchovies, slivered celery, shaved parmigiano, nicoise olives and pine nuts adorn the baby romaine salad, which is delicately dressed with a simple red wine vinaigrette. You’ll be lucky to get a full bite of the wild boar tagliatelle to your mouth before the supple meat falls apart. The homemade pasta in the Tuscan dish is buttery and the picture of al dente.
The “saddle of venison” is roasted whole, bone in, so it picks up a more intense flavor. A ragout of chestnuts, fennel, mushrooms and coriander finishes the entree. Though the bone-in rib-eye isn’t on the menu, it’ll make an appearance once a week as a special, Schneider promised. The dry-aged beef is served with a classic, bone-marrow gremolata thick with chopped herbs and a touch of lemon zest.