Omnivore - Back for more at La Pietra Cucina

In my ongoing effort to appear at the door of La Pietra Cucina and find it open, I went back for lunch today. Hurrah! They were open.

My server talked me into ordering this dish of pasta all'amatriciana as a starter. The sauce was made with fresh tomatoes, lots of onions and lots of sliced guanciale. That's hog jowls that the chef cures on the premises for a month. I've had the dish before, but usually made with pancetta (although I believe I did encounter guanciale at Ecco.)

I followed this with a fragrant, crispy panino made with heirloom tomatoes, basil and melted mozzarella, served with salad.

Considering the size of the pasta "starter," I was very overfed.

I notice that an Omnivore reader and his spouse also lunched there today and left a complimentary comment here. He did complain about the $14 cost of their dishes. Well, my bill today for two courses and a glass of tonic water was $23, so he got off easy.

Honestly, I don't think, given the quality of the food, that it's overpriced. I would never order two courses for lunch here again. But realize that for now the dinner and lunch menus are the same. Would you complain about $23 for a first-class two-course dinner? In any case, the panini are only $10 — not bad for a gourmet sandwich with salad.

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