I did a review of Strega back in 2011 not long after it first opened. I focused on dining in the bar area, which I have since done many times writing about the colorful clientele who frequent this Italian restaurant. Fast forward five years later and the charisma of Strega Waterfront is still there with wonderful people watching and great food.
Last Sunday I was meeting friends for the Rise of the Jack O Lanterns at the Seaport World Trade Center. I have to say I was reluctant to go to this event but was so happy I did. What an extraordinary sight to behold with more than 1000 pumpkins carved into everything from dinosaurs to Marvel Comic characters to famous TV stars. If it comes back next year you must visit no matter your age.
We decided to dine early at Strega prior to our ticket time. I was the first to arrive and sat in the lounge area and ordered a cheeky 5pm glass of Sancerre. Soon after my three friends joined me and we sat for a short while catching up and enjoying the early evening of Strega’s lounge.
Time for our reservation and we were escorted to the center of the still somewhat quiet restaurant and seated at an elegantly white tablecloth covered table. The atmosphere is rich with the money-crowd, in-crowd and tourist crowd. There is a retro Hollywood feel to Strega with black and white old Italian movies mutely playing in the background and a sense of being a bit over the top “Sopranos”. The restaurant is quite impressive with a higher-end, contemporary decor with huge murals of people like Al Pacino. They do have a lovely outside dining area, which feels a lot more casual.
Our dining experience started with fruity Meiomi Pinot Noir. A recommendation from my friend, Lauren and now a must buy on my wine shopping list.
For appetizers we relished creamy rich burrata and salty prosciutto and juicy roasted beets with a mousse-like insanely good ricotta and sweet tang of honey.
My dining friends cooed over the apparently fantastic veal meatballs, while I continued to pile fresh burrata onto pieces of soft bread.
For our mains we ordered scallops, pasta and steak dishes. Before even looking at the menu I had already decided I was going for the mushroom pappardella, which I have enjoyed many times before. This is an intensely heavy dish with a superb aroma and subtle flavor of truffle and earthy wild mushrooms. They don’t list it on the menu but they will make you a half portion, which was still too much for me. As in the past I was not disappointed at all with my choice of entrée.
It seems everyone was very satisfied and extremely happy with their order. So much so, we didn’t even offer each other a taste of our dishes.
While I very much enjoyed dining in the restaurant and would do this more for a celebration or big group dining, I am still more of a fan of their lounge area for a more relaxed feel.