Walking onto the patio of L’Orcio, a contemporary Italian restaurant on State Street, I felt as though I had been transported into a romantic fantasy world. A few blocks away from Yale’s familiar campus, the restaurant is an ideal place to go when you want some privacy. It is superb as a date spot: there are plenty of sparkling lights to set the mood; the portions are big enough to share; the cocktail menu boasts all sorts of aphrodisiacs for the over-21 set. And I know the full romance this place holds first hand.
No, unfortunately for me, I did not figure out a way for the YDN to pay for a hot date. Rather, I got to witness one. That is right, I went to L’Orcio with one of Yale’s sexiest couples — Maia Eliscovich ’16 and Rohan Misra ’16 — to scope out just how intimate this charming bistro could be, and on that front, it did not disappoint.
Beyond the romance and intrigue the restaurant provides, L’Orcio did not entice me to return — either by the 20-minute walk or $9.70 taxi — any time soon.
When we sat down at the restaurant — which was Zagat rated for 2012-2013, so props for that — the hostess looked at us a bit more suspiciously than graciously. OK, we get it: you don’t normally have three people on date night. She did not ask us whether we would like to be inside or out, and just led us onto the patio. As previously described, the patio is gorgeous, but Maia and Rohan deserve their options, especially on a night as warm and buggy as ours was.
The menu had a typical range of Italian classics, as well as some upscale options. The insalate choices all looked amazing, and this vegetarian really wanted to see someone eat the handmade lobster ravioli. We all started off with a “Piatto Locale,” which boasted mixed cheeses, honey and lavender-walnut bread that were all locally sourced. The presentation was not particularly noteworthy, but all three cheeses were delicious.
Our waiter was just as mediocre as the hostess. He was far from attentive. As college students, we were younger than their normal guests, and it was clear that they were not especially keen to attract a Yale clientele. But judging by how busy the restaurant was on a Wednesday night, they do not necessarily need to.
Maihon (Roia? couple name TBD) decided to go vegetarian so that I could share with them, and we settled on three pasta dishes for our entree — the Sorrentina, the Norma, and the Ravioli di Pesto. When Maia took her first bite of the Ravioli di Pesto she remarked, “I really like it.” Rohan found the Norma, which was Cavatelli pasta in an eggplant sauce, to be a little bland though he enjoyed the al dente texture. My Sorrentina, ricotta gnocchi in tomato sauce, was very fresh, but perhaps a little too soft.
Overall, the food was authentic but not necessarily good enough to lure me that far from campus. For next time, I’ll maybe try to find my own date. Yorkside, anyone?