Popular Italian Eclectic Restaurant
Frisco loves Italian food. At least, that is my conclusion after seeing the crowds waiting for seating at Crudo on a recent weekend night. What folks line up for is an eclectic menu of (mainly) Italian-inspired dishes drawn from acknowledged fan favorites. Things like fried calamari ($13), pizza margherita ($13), chicken parmesan ($16) and veal saltimbocca ($26). There are some French-inspired items like French onion soup ($7), some that depend on classification (is the charcuterie actually salumi?), and some obligatory nods to the popularity of steak (Black Angus Filet Mignon, $28). It is a something-for-everyone model.
We started with a bowl of black mussels ($12) in a tomato sauce peppered with substantial slices of Spanish chorizo. The mussels were good, but the sauce so absolutely divine that we belatedly asked for the spoon to sip it which we should have asked for when we ordered.
Kobe Short Rib Tortellini ($12) was three tortellini pockets stuffed with kobe beef and also topped, like a hat, with a slice of kobe. I found the hat slice chewier than I expected but liked the earthy Chianti glaze draped over the top.
Stuffed Shrimp ($23) set 3 nicely meaty shrimp atop an addictive creamy mascarpone risotto and accompanied them with shaved cuts of asparagus and roasted peppers.
Sea Scallops Lobster Tortellini ($29) was three tortellini, reasonably fully stuffed with lobster, and three sea scallops bathed in lobster sherry sauce. To make this look like a plateful, some greens, (and those asparagus cuts from the stuffed shrimp dish), were tossed over the top of the tortellini. This buried them, which struck me as an odd plating arrangement but provided the fun of excavating them with my cutlery.
Desserts are crowd pleasers from Italy and places beyond such as Tiramisu ($8), Key Lime Pie ($8), and Chocolate Lava Cake ($8).
There is a good selection of wines by the glass that vary from $10 to $24. The Recchia ‘Ca Bertoldi’ Amarone ($24) is the most expensive glass, but recommended as a very serious red for those meat and pasta dishes. Surprisingly, to me, the 50-selection wine list is only about 20% Italian. I would have thought that, focusing on the food of the country with the most types of wine in the world would lead to a heavy emphasis on Italy. Also, despite the success of Sangiovese, Vermentino and other Italian grapes in Texas, there is not a single Texes wine. The full bar also mixes capable cocktails and beer is available. Happy hour rocks 4-7pm, Monday through Thursday.
The wood panelled room gets noisy when full and a couple will have to raise their voices to hear each other across a 2-top table. The tables are also close set. I was on the outside of ours and one consequence was that I was brushed against three times in the course of dinner, once by a bus boy. Ask for a table outside the major trafficked routes. Parking is easy, right outside.
As a mid-priced and mainly Italian restaurant, open for lunch and dinner, Crudo is a welcome addition to Frisco’s emerging dining scene.