Boot and Shoe Service (duh). No, it is not a cobblers or a place to find really cool antique cowboy boots that John Wayne wore in some Western movie eight thousand years ago (that’s about how old he is, right?). It is the sister restaurant to Pizzaiolo that serves appetizers, salads, and pizza and yes, has a weird name.
My friend Jeffrey is one of the chefs there and at risk of sounding like a preteen who just received some juicy gossip she just HAS to pass on to her bffs via text, OMG. This place knocked my socks off, and I wasn’t even wearing any.
Let’s start with the ambiance, shall we? It’s got this sort of mood lighting, casual but frisky atmosphere with a touch of devil-may-care around the edges (the backside of their upstairs loft office is visible from the dining area). From hanging bunches of dried chilies to the light fixtures that look like they came out of some old Victorian that recently got renovated, it’s got lots of great touches. Watch the cute chefs in action, mingle with your fellow diners at the back bar, or knock back a couple of shots. Or do it all!
The wait staff was incredibly nice and seemed to like what they are doing. Why wouldn’t they? This place really embraces the local and organic element that is swiffering the nation right now. They are a people after my own heart, whose sole purpose is to deliver really, really good food.
After getting a drink at the bar and waiting for about 20 minutes for a table (this was a Wednesday night, and they were very full. They are just that divine) we were escorted to our table. I had, of course, studied the menu online and decided that throwing caution to the wind was the best plan of action. We asked our waitress to bring us two appetizers and a pizza of her choosing (after specifying that I loath, with a passion, anything akin to a mushroom), whichever she thought best. This, we found out as we stuffed our faces with delightful yumminess, was an excellent idea.
The lovely lady brought us the arugula and shaved fennel salad, friend rock shrimp with onions (a gift from her to us, she said), and the sea scallops with roasted endive and avocado.
The salad was perfect. It had the bitey bitterness of arugula and big shaved pieces of parmiggiano, topped with roasted nuts and sweet balsamic vinegar. Even the texture blew my mind since they added frisse. The rock shrimp was perfectly salty and had the awesome addition of what were essentially bits of onion rings tossed in, with a nice dipping mayo sauce delight. The scallops…were incredible. The endive was lemony and roasted to this great softness so that when you put a bit with the avocado and scallop, you basically went straight up to heaven. I am pretty sure I shook hands with god that night.
At this point, Emma and I were stuffed to the gills. I could have waddled out of there completely content, but B&S had other plans. Allow me to introduce…
The nettle pizza. With an egg. And fresh ricotta. And oh, yes, some of my drool.
Now, if you’re anything like me, when you hear “nettles” you think: angry European plants that jump out and try and kill you with their painful pokey things. Suffices to say, I was a little hesitant. Unnecessary. If I was not raised by a mindful mother who taught me table etiquette and common decency, I would have knocked Emma off her chair and eaten the whole thing myself. The nettles had this anchovy-ish taste that was addictive and went perfectly with the egg and crispy crust. I had heard of plopping eggs onto pizza when I was in Italy, but this was my first live-action experience with the little buggers.
Boy oh boy, Aunty Em, it is completely worth the initial odd feeling of asking someone to put an egg on your pizza to enjoy this ambrosia. We broke off hunks of the pizza and dipped them in the broken egg, licking our fingers and groaning under the sheer weight of how much we were consuming. A-mazing.
Oh! Did you think we were done? Heavens, no! Just as I unbuttoned my top button (the laws of physics state only so much stuff can fit in a certain amount of space, and I was exceeding that space) when along came…
Burnt caramel pot de creme with whipped cream. As you can see by the chunk already removed from this bit of nirvana, I couldn’t wait to dive in. It was this thick, almost ice cream-like texture with small studs of salt mixed in and an intense caramel flavor. So, so good. I got the pastry chef’s email so I could beg him for the recipe!
This place is magnificent. If you want good quality, unique ingredients, and a mound of love with every bite, go to this place. You will not regret it!
NOM NOM NOM!