Alla Vongole @ Wine Country Trattoria

Price: $19.00

When: October 9, 2016, 1:20 PM

Reservations: n/a

Verdict? Recommended

So we’re lunching at Wine Country Trattoria. It’s been a mixed bag so far: the Rustic Bruschetta was great, but the Bolognese was not. Chris and Elaine are both going to town on their entrees. Elaine, who ordered the Alla Vongole, sees me picking at my Bolognese and takes pity on me. She pauses, swaps her plate for mine, and says, “give that a try.”

So I do.

Man, I should have ordered this.

Like the Bolognese, this is a simple dish. Unlike the Bolognese, however, this is solid. The sauce is flavorful – creamy and light. It features chili flakes, and a touch of chili oil. The clams are great, adding a nice bit of brine and flavor. The shaved cheese fills in little gaps here and there, helping where it can. And the pasta may be out of a box … but it does a good job faking it. This is credible.

Someone cared about this dish, and it shows. It’s not fancy, but that’s OK; it knows what it is, and delivers 100% against its goal. I’d gladly eat this again.