The home stretch

Today’s Taste section of the Herald includes a look at the making of il Vecchio, the hotly anticipated Italian restaurant opening September 13 here in Pacific Grove.

il Vecchio is getting closer and closer to opening. Their grand opening is scheduled for Tuesday, September 13.

I’ve now been to two tastings at il Vecchio as they move into the final stretch before opening. The restaurant is really coming together. There’s proper lighting now, and the kitchen has refined the recipes.

The space is coming together nicely, and the kitchen is settling into a good groove too.

The food is rustic and simple–classic dishes, including some mighty tasty pastas. You got a sneak peek from my first tasting already. The second time around, I sampled some pastas.

The gnocchi were greatly improved since the last time I had them.

The gnocchi al pomodoro ($9) included a generous portion of hearty, homemade gnocchi served with a flavorful tomato sauce. Sure, the gnocchi were a little dense, but they were certainly filling. And I’d love to grab a plate of these on a cold winter evening.

The pasta alla carbonara was rich and flavorful.

I sampled a bite of the pasta alla carbonara ($11) had bold flavors of black pepper. The pancetta and egg added rich flavors.

The pasta al pesto was easily the best pasta I sampled. I'm looking forward to another plate of this one!

But my favorite dish by far was the pasta al pesto ($11). It’s made with dried DeCecco spaghetti imported from Italy. Don’t let the premade pasta fool you—it’s still a tasty dish. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente, and tossed with pesto and hint of cream. The flavors were so bold, yet smooth. It was a welcome change from the salty, one-note pestos I’ve had at many other local Italian restaurants.

I’m definitely looking forward to a proper meal here at il Vecchio when they open next week.

Stay up-to-date on il Vecchio’s Facebook page, including updates on free tastings, and follow Ariele into the home stretch of designing the restaurant on her blog, Brooklyn to West.

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