DinnerCharlies Little Italian
Charlie’s Little Italian on Main Street is a simple, no nonsense Italian eatery. From the same folks behind El Camino’s and The Union, Charlie’s replaces the failed relaunch of the previously burnt out Habit Lounge, providing Main Street residents a casual spot for simply prepared pasta.
Inside, the small-ish dining room is fronted by the bar and buttressed with a few tables outside for a little al fresco dining — weather permitting. The menu is terse; the ingredients simple; and the execution shows a little heart and soul. On this occasion, Tre’s younger brother Marcus accompanied us for the meal.
We started with the Whipped Ricotta: fresh, rich ricotta presented in a mason jar, layered with honey, toasted pistachios and served with warm focaccia.
Tre had the spaghetti and meatballs, a simple enough dish made many times over by numerous restaurants. The single, oversized meatball was a perfect blend of well seasoned Pemberton Meadows beef and pork for just the right fattiness, braised in red wine and tomato sauce resting over a plate of perfectly al dente spaghetti topped with fresh parmesan and fresh basil.
For me, the Spaghetti Puttanesca was a perfect blend of a myriad flavours: sweetness of the pomodoro sauce, saltiness of the anchovies, capers and olives and a little heat from the chili. A generous chiffonade of basil added a touch of refreshing greenery.
It was The Orrechiette Con Salsiccia for Marcus. The small, round dimpled pasta were a perfect vessel for the preserved lemon, chili and fennel sausage topped with rough chopped parsley and pecorino romano.
Three orders of pasta, a cocktail and two appetizers came to $80 including taxes and tips. Service was amiable but can be a little sluggish at times. Charlie’s is a nice spot for simple, no fuss Italian dishes that’s best enjoyed at a leisurely pace.
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