DaVinci's

DaVinci's, next to the Elsinore Theater on High Street, is by far, my favorite restaurant in Salem. It's not cheap, but the food is spectacular. I've happened to go on two different Thursday evenings, and they had a jazz trio playing in the bar area. With the main dining room upstairs, the music is a wonderful accompaniment to the meal without being too loud or overpowering.

The menu has a few entrees, several pastas, and a large appetizer and salad menu. The pastas, they warn you, are quite small—about half an entrée. But it's really nice to order a salad and pasta, and share an appetizer with your date. That's exactly what we did the last time I went. I ordered the Caesar salad, pasta with Dungeness crab, and we shared a shrimp appetizer in a green curry sauce.

The Caesar salad was one of the best I've had in ages. It was a real Caesar—be warned—with 4 skinny anchovies lying across the lettuce. In addition, there were thick slices of Parmesan, homemade croutons, and a great Parmesan dressing. The shrimp was so-so, the green curry sauce was flavorful, but it overpowered the shrimp. The pasta was divine. I can't remember everything that was in it, but I do recall Dungeness crab, pancetta, and lemon zest. An odd sounding combination, but it tasted wonderful. The server said that they're perfectly willing to prepare any of the pastas as an entrée size for diners who'd like a larger order.

My date had a New York steak with roasted fingerling potatoes, cauliflower, and a tomato-based sauce reduction. The steak was full of flavor and perfectly cooked. We've never had an appetite for deserts, but I bet they're quite good too.

When I tell people I love the food at DaVinci's, often times I get odd looks. Evidently, the service there used to be terrible—terrible enough to not want to ever go back, no matter how good the food is. Well, I've been three times since October, and the service has been, at a minimum, decent, and at the best, quite good.

14 comments:

Salem Man said...

I agree, Davinci's is the best food and atmosphere in town. We haven't been there since the blog started, but your review is right on.

Anonymous said...

you were right in assuming their desserts are also good... their creme brulee is completely amazing!

Brian D said...

I would agree with everything in this review except the expencive part. You can get in and out with drinks and a lite meal for $30 per person.

I would say that they have the best steak in town and it Organic.

SWB said...

The beef Davinci's uses does not claim to be organic. I think the phrase they use is natural? In fact that processor buys regular beef and does not feed antibiotics, and a few other more natural processes for only the last 90 days of their lives. Relatively low practices in the scale of Natural beef available. They could do better.

Anonymous said...

not a fan of DaVinci's... to noisy, too expensive, subpar food.

Only The Best said...

Great Food! High quality! I always have the fire roasted chicken...excellent! My husband has the gargonzola/pasta which he loves! The chocolate/peanut butter italian ice cream is to die for!!!!! One of the best in town! Thank goodness this place exists! This town needs more DaVinci's!!!!!

B said...

Some friends of mine and I had a girl's night the other night at Davinci's. It was great! The live music and service was awesome. Also, I had the crab pasta and it was amazing!

Texas Ambassador said...

My wife and I went to DaVinci's last night for our anniversary and really enjoyed the food and service. We had some kind of blue cheese scallop thing-a-muh-jiggy that was super. I give it 4 hats.

Anonymous said...

Portions are small -- my wife commented that it was good, but you should eat before you go.

Anonymous said...

I had a mixed experience. I don't want to be super negative, but I obviously went before things had changed. Maybe the night I ate there it was an off day for them, or just a fluke? But, I had high hopes and was disappointed by the service and the food. I am looking for an excuse to go back because I hear good things, but its hard to overcome a mixed first try. The atmosphere is really great, I must say. Any suggestions about what to order if I go back? I'm still debating whether to give it another shot or not.

Anonymous said...

This is the best spot for a nice night out in Salem. Good cocktails and small portions are a good combo for me. The food can sometimes miss the mark, but the atmosphere is the best in town.

Anonymous said...

A friend and I celebrated her birthday there a few weeks ago and it was EXCELLENT. We had cocktails, shared an appetizer, she had their gazpacho and we both had delectable shrimp pasta dishes. We also split dessert and our total tab was $70. I've heard that they have a great happy hour as well. The service was fabulous, friendly and funny. We will be going back!

Anonymous said...

You should probably give the raves on desserts to sweet street and from a baker who wholesales to them.

Anonymous said...

Great place for our date night last week. The happy hour food specials were cheap - but excellent fare. We got three small plates for about $12 - which filled us up. Add a couple drinks each and we had a great night out for less than $30. The atmosphere was very nice - we like busy places. Our service was good (not great, but good).
We always eat in the bar - and though the place was packed we got a table right away.