Vespa is divided into two small stylish dining rooms, both relying more on artistry than opulence to achieve their look. The room where we were seated is themed with old Italian movie posters and ringed with a rail that supports a collection of high end travel and shelter magazines. The effect is engaging. The menu is, as you would expect, thoroughly Italian. Vespa's signature dishes include fresh marinated grilled baby calamari, homemade pastas, "Osso Buco" served with risotto Milanese, and other mostly northern Italian specialties.The waiters at Vespa are as impassive as the host is affable. They take your order with a poker face. When we complained that they brought one appetizer and a salad together instead of both appetizers, followed by the salad, as we would have preferred, their only response was that the other appetizer was coming. When it eventually arrived, they were only mildly apologetic that it was the wrong one. Empty wine glasses were left unfilled until assertive requests were made.Order of appearance aside, the tiny torpedos and tentacle florets of baby calamari couldn't have been more tender or flavorful. The Ciociara, a salad of romaine lettuce with gorgonzola cheese dressing and croutons was fresh and pleasing. The Porto Piu Bello, a portabella mushroom with Italian sweet sausage char-grilled with a splash of balsamic, touch tomato was well executed, but consisted of a lot of mushroom with a lengthwise half sausage the size of a Jimmy Dean. A more generous helping of sausage would have improved the balance.Trenette Aragosta, or spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce and lobster was the pasta special of the day. The zesty sauce was hearty and piquant with visible chunks of garlic and fragrant herbs. The lobster component, a mealy half of a skinny lobster sans claws, made for a measly two mouthfuls hardly worth the effort of picking it out of the shell. The lobster seemed a careless afterthoug
©2005 Community News Group
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