Big Monday-Tuesday Values at il vecchio in Pacific Grove
November 6, 2012
For many, Monday means manic and moping and all sorts of malignant elements.
At il vecchio (324-4282) it means adventure, as in L’ Avventuras in Cucina.
From 5-9pm, you're in the kitchen's hands as the chef team chooses five countryside Italian courses—think antipasti, soups, fish, salads and meats that don't make the normal menu—for just $20. No menus appear on the table, and everything's a surprise but the last course.
It looked like a superb value on paper, from one of the best spots for affordable rustic and welcoming ambiance in Monterey County, and our readers' vote for Best Italian Restaurant of 2012—and also a contender for Best New Restaurant. (Two of my favorite plates, gorgonzola gnocchi with apples and chicken alla cacciatora are both $14.)
Avventuras played out as a sturdy value on the plate, too.
In chronological order, we grazed on fancy foccacia served like a slab of cake with nice olive oil and parmesan on top, pumpkin-butternut squash soup, arugula-spinach salads, fresh sea bass-broth calamari-mussel risotto (pictured above), and a choice between rustic beef stew and just-caught rock cod.
We paired all that with another value, an Italian Prosecco that goes for $20 too.
Tuesday nights represent a smaller time window but a bigger bargain: 5-6:30pm is family nights delivering four courses served family style for $15 a head—anticipate multiple pastas, roasted chicken, broccoli with garlic, puréed parmesan potatoes, carnellini bean salads and more.
For more on il vecchio, look at our review, "Straightforward but sexy tastes at good prices in a crafty environment make il Vecchio an instant local hit," and our "In Your Dish" video look at one of the spot's signature dishes.