Last Saturday the BF&I decided to have dinner at Atasca. Upon entering, I noticed the typical "we have pretty plates on our walls" decor, nice, but nothing outstanding. We were seated in the back at a table for two, which I liked. Tables near the entrance, kitchen or in the middle of the dining room have traffic that detracts from the dining experience.
We decided to start with a typical Portuguese white, Vinho Verde. Vinho verde is typically light, slightly sweet and effervescent. It's mild and a crowd pleaser; even better, it is very cheap, running between 5-10 at a liquor store, and in our case $21 dollars for the bottle at Atasca.
We started with an appetizer of fresh cheese with tomatoes. It was served in the style of a caprese salad, with parsley instead of basil and lots of sauteed onions and olive oil. The tomatoes were surprisingly tasty for the winter. Bread was served with olive oil and roasted cloves of garlic. I decided to combine the bread, garlic, cheese and tomatoes and found the combination pretty good, about a 7 out of 10.
We also ordered scallops to share. They came with a wedge of fried/sauteed polenta, and, no surprise, more onions. The polenta had a rich smokey taste but the scallops did not stand out.
We shared the typical dish of pork and clams as an entree. It came in (I believe) a white wine, garlic and butter sauce. I asked for lemon wedges to squeeze over the dish. The combination sounds odd, but works surprisingly well. And the portion was huge-for under $20 it easily serves 2 people.
While the experience did not blow me away, I would go back to Atasca. Plus they are on restaurant.com, which would make a weeknight experience very affordable and thus very desirable.
Service: 8/10; the waitress was attentive but did not hover. However she did not really check in to see how our dishes were.
Food: 8/10; The bread with garlic and the pork and clams were outstanding, but the scallops and cheese forgettable.
Decor: 6/10 Atasca is nicely decorated, but not very unique, and other restaurants pull it off better.
Cost: 7/10 With a bottle of wine, 2 appetizers and 1 entree, the meal was around $70 with tip.
Overall: 7.5/10. I'd go back, but I am in no hurry to do so.