Eatery - Il Farro (CA) Revisited
111 21st Pl, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Pricing - $$/$$$ | Dining - Dressy Casual | Cuisine - Italian
[You can read my first review here.] It had been a while since we had visited Il Farro for the first time but we decided to go back because 1) the food was excellent and 2) we had a Voice Daily Deals certificate. Who doesn't like deals? Anyhow, it was a bit busier than the last time we had gone but we were still seated immediately. I still love hearing all of their staff speak Italian! It just makes the experience seem much more authentic, especially since Italian food these days are so Americanized and large.
So in order to expose Duc to a few new things (and to go out of our comfort zones in general), our appetizer after their delicious wheat bread with olive oil came out was their carpaccio di bue e sedano. If you don't know what carpaccio is, it's basically thin slices of raw filet. Theirs had celery, capers, Parmigiano cheese, olive oil, and lemon. These were very, very thin slices which made them easier to consume and enjoy quickly. I loved the addition of the celery and capers as one added a crunch element to eating the slices while the other gave bursts of sour flavor. We devoured the plate very quickly.
My order for that night was their farrotto alla Milanese (the farro was cooked like risotto) which had large tiger shrimp, asparagus, and a saffron sauce. The presentation was so appetizing, and the smell actually hit me before they had even brought the dish into my line of vision. I mean, it was so heavy and distinct. I loved this dish not only for the large granules in the staple portion but also for the savoriness of the sauce itself. The shrimp were cooked perfectly and were very thick ones themselves. The asparagus added a good vegetable touch to the dish but wasn't completely necessary. The saffron definitely spoke for itself.
Duc's order was the gnocchi di zucca al burro el Salvia which was basically gnocchi that had baked pumpkin in it and smothered in butter sage sauce. While not necessarily the best dish visually, its complex, sweet flavors were impressive. I loved how smooth they were able to make their gnocchi texture and how it kept a very strong loyalty to the pumpkin itself. Delicious! The fun part of Il Farro is that since it's practically next door to the pier, you can walk off your indulgences afterward.