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Monday, April 11, 2005 

Review - Cafe Mediterraneo - Portsmouth, NH

Friday night we went out and tried a restaurant I hadn't been to before. The relatively small city of Portsmouth, NH has a plethora of dining choices. (Partial listing here) The downtown area is full of different restaurants, with a full variety of food types and tastes. One thing I may try to do on this blog is when I visit a new place, give my impression of it here.

Cafe Mediterraneo is a place you could miss if you didn't know where it was, but the place was still pretty packed. It's located on a small connecting street between two parallel streets. The walls and tables are pleasingly decorated with an Italian theme, the only drawback in the decorations was the drop-ceiling, such as you would find in an office building. The tables are pretty small and close together, as they try to pack as many people as possible into the place. There is a version on the menu online, but the actual one was slightly different.

I started with a 1/2 litre of house wine - a Cavit Pinot Grigio. It came in a carafe and was well chilled. The bread brought to the table was good, with a chewy, crunchy crust. Herbed Olive Oil and butter was provided.

We selected the Salmon Bruschetta as an appetizer. It was one of the specials of the day. It came out fairly quickly, 5 pieces on the place. It was very good, and the smoked salmon was not overpowering, which is a good thing. It all blended together nicely and while I had never considered using salmon on bruschetta, but it worked out well. It all quickly disappeared.

I selected the Lobster Ravioli, Darcy had the Chicken Mediteranean and her mom had the Chicken Piccata. My Ravioli was delicious. The green striped triangular ravioli was arranged around the plate in a single layer, almost like slices of a pizza. They were stuffed with lobster meat and cheese and topped with a great cream sauce. In the middle of my plate was meat from an entire lobster claw, which was an unexpectedly great treat.

The Chicken Mediteranean is described as "Boneless breast of chicken sauteed with leeks, prunes, sundried tomatoes and pinenuts in a brandy orange sauce" it looked good. I got a bite of it, with a prune and found the combination interesting. Darcy raved about the dish and especially loved the pine nuts. The Chicken Piccata is a "Boneless breast of chicken sauteed with lemon, capers and roasted peppers in a garlic, oil and white wine sauce" I didn't try that one, but it looked good as well. Each dish also came with a bowl of pasta with sauce. The marinara sauce was very sweet. The alfredo/white sauce was also very good.

This is definitely a place to come back to. Reservations are recommended. The address of Cafe Mediterraneo is 152 Fleet Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 and the phone number is 603-427-5563.