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Livin’ My Best Life at Bestia

Bestia (beast in Italiano), sits comfortably in Downtown’s very own Arts District, tucked away with all of its chic restaurants and cafes. Bestia chefs and power couple, Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis take an approach on rustic Italian, that has hundreds of hungry souls on [two] month-long reservation lists and created a daily, eager line for no-shows. Lucky for me, I had a few connections that could pull some strings. Their names are Corner and Table. Yeah, I have no connections. But instead of making your reservation online, CALL! For some reason, online doesn’t show all tables that are available. I was able to snag a patio table for two at 6pm on a Thursday, when I called and made a reservation on Monday! I’d much rather dine on the intimate patio than next to loaded drunkies.

Calamari alla Plancha

As far as my dining experience goes, this was the BEST(ia) meal I’ve had in a very long time. The robust flavors that my taste buds encountered were unreal. The photos are in order the way they arrived to our table. We started with Calamari alla Plancha (above), which was a fresh mixture of cherry tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, marjoram, basil, capers, and agretti. This is a perfect light summer dish! All it took was a spritz of lemon to lift the natural flavors out of each ingredient. Next came the Mussels and Clams which were resting in an oasis of spicy ‘nduja sausage and fennel seed. Thankfully this came with bread to soak up those delectable juices, or else I would have started drinking it. Sausage and fennel are always compatible, but throw in some shells and you have a party! It was addicting, and also my friend’s favorite of the night! Shortly after, a must of every meal and my favorite of all foods had arrived: Margherita Pizze! Although I haven’t been to Italy yet, my boyfriend used to live there and had described the texture and consistency of real Neapolitan pizza. Each bite was a perfect match to his words and I couldn’t get enough of it. The chewy crust was of exceptional craftsmanship as a foundation for San Marzo tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, sea salt and fresh basil. As our bellies started filling up, we were pleased to see a small portion of the Agnolotti alla Vaccinara. This dish consists of saffron pasta parcel, braised oxtail, brown butter, rosemary, pistachios, and currants. This is a prime example of where quality exceeds quantity. The chef recommended eating with a spoon to ensure each piece of pasta gets the right amount of sauce. We made sure each bite also had a pistachio and currant. It’s so hard to put into words what this pasta does to you physically and emotionally. Immediately, I entered a state of tranquility and my body was at ease. It was at this moment I knew, this is the epitome of comfort food. I was so happy and scared to know we had one more dish on it’s way, the Grilled Whole Branzino. Now this is where quality and quantity meet head and head; the fish was stuffed and topped with pea tendrils and herbs served hot with a juicy grilled lemon. Although our stomachs were full to the brim, our brains made sure to pass along the message to make room for this beauty. The skin crust remarkably contrasted the moist and tender meat while the pea tendrils both steamed and baked, gave it an enjoyable tang. The service was outstanding as well. Constant check ups, refilling drinks and smiles throughout the meal made it such an enjoyable night. I will say, Bestia lives up to the hype and I cannot wait to go back and try more. I recommend every single one of the dishes below.

Mussels and Clams

Mussels and Clams

Margherita Pizze

Agnolotti alla Vaccinara

Agnolotti alla Vaccinara

Grilled Whole Branzino

Grilled Whole Branzino

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