Cavatelli Portobello

Worcester has its share of Italian eateries. What makes Caffe Espresso Trattoria stand out from the pack is its home-made ingredients, authentic cooking, and its alcohol policy (bring your own!). Having just moved from a small, paper-tablecloth style storefront on Wall Street, its new location on Chandler Street brings together an authentic fare with a intimately lit atmosphere.

The Cavatelli Portobello is the dish that everyone must try when dining at Caffe Espresso Trattoria. The cavatelli pasta, a small folded-over pasta shell popular in the Avellino province of Italy, is a doughy noodle that masterfully absorbs the flavors brought together in this dish to offer your tastebuds an opportunity to delicately decipher the ingredients within each bite. In addition to healthy slices of portobello mushrooms (often considered the filet mignon of the vegetarian world), a portobello red wine sauce combines with garlic, fresh herbs and spices, and a rich parmesan cheese that brings the entire meal together. The contrasting texture of the portobello and cavatelli pasta, combined with a thin sliced grilled chicken brings a new dynamic to the culinary experience that could simply be described as deliberate and masterfully crafted. Although it was my hopes to bring half home for lunch the following day, my tastebuds would not permit any to be left undevoured at diner.

When considering Italian in Worcester, one cannot overlook the ascendance of Caffe Espresso Trattoria. -LV

Christmas shopping for fine art collectibles and inspiration at Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton, MA