Prossimo Ristorante dish

Baby kale, roasted beet and pomegranate salad

Think about what you want in a restaurant on Valentine’s Day.

Intimate seating is a plus. Candles would be nice. A good wine list is important.

What about a carved wheel of Parmiggiano-Reggiano that’s set on fire with flaming brandy, then swirled with fettuccine?

Now we’re talking.

Prossimo Ristorante is the rare establishment that delivers both intimacy and flourish. It offers opportunity for both quiet conversation for a romantic dinner as well as the oohs and ahhs that come from the tableside presentations of fettuccine or mozzarella.

It’s also a restaurant where a reservation is usually needed, so if you haven’t made one yet, it’s time. And remember that since Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for dining out, you might want to visit before or after Feb. 14.

But you don’t need a date to fall in love with Prossimo. When it opened last summer, the buzz was that it would be an upscale Andolini’s. But don’t expect that. Actually Andolini’s owners/brothers Jim and Mike Bausch, who also own Prossimo, say Prossimo is its own experience.

Prossimo isn’t a place for heavy sauces or too much tomato paste. This is a place that’s both simple and sophisticated with classics like meatballs ($12) and Bolognese ($19) and new favorites like a prawn with jalapeño pesto ($35) or salmon with orzo and sea beans ($28).

Prossimo has an adjoining bar, Prossima Prosecco, convenient for waiting for a table, but equally good as a place to linger over drinks, perusing the extensive and impressive wine and drink list.

Prossimo/Prossima is on Cherry Street at 1550 E. 15th St. and is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday-Sunday. 

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