Opened by Italian-oriented El Grande Group (Grappa’s, Domani, Spuntini), Mostaccioli Brothers is one of the cutest new spots on Elgin. The basement bistro is divided into two sections – a small bar area (“Mos Bros Bar”) for casual drinks and snacks, and a larger, high-ceilinged dining room that boasts an open kitchen stocked with fine Italian pantry products. Both areas have their own alfresco dining space. With the kitsch, countryside murals and looping Sinatra soundtrack, the setting oozes enough cheesy charm to match the pasta scene from Lady and the Tramp.
In terms of the food, Mostaccioli’s menu is a throwback to rustic Italian-American cuisine with a page’s worth of apps, cold cuts, pastas and mains. Marinated baby octopus ($45) are showered in fine herbs and drizzled in lemon and olive oil for a perfectly satisfying starter. Breadcrumbed crab cakes ($90) come in two hefty, golden brown rounds per order, served with wedges of creamy avocado and mesclun greens mixed with hot tomato salsa. It’s not life changing, but it’s comforting enough.
Moving onto the bigger plates, the signature baked mostaccioli in tomato sauce ($100) is a simple, guilt-ridden dish that’s designed to fatten. Served in a wide bowl, the al dente penne arrives loaded with Italian sausage (a hit of chopped chillies would’ve made it even better) and plenty of blistered, gooey cheese. The veal scaloppini marsala ($150) is equally wholesome – a wickedly tender quarter-inch slice smothered in wild mushrooms and a smoky rich marsala wine sauce with a side of spicy arugula salad.
For the Soho neighbourhood, prices here are incredibly reasonable: $35 for a long wooden plank of prosciutto di Parma; $52 for a glass of prosecco ($32 during happy hour). Throw in some genuinely friendly service and a space that’s double the size of most other joints in the area and you’ve got plenty of reasons to hit this place up. Dorothy So
B/F & G/F, 16 Elgin St, Soho, 2525 5770. Daily 11am-11pm. Meal for two: around $600.
|Venue name:||Mostaccioli Brothers|
B/F & G/F
16 Elgin St