This week Besha Rodell reviews Moruno, the Southern Spanish-influenced restaurant in the Original Farmer's Market by Mozza alums David Rosoff and Chris Feldmeier. Even though the Weekly critic characterizes the parking situation as extreme "vehicular torture," she states, "I still think you should go there. Even on a Saturday night."
Rodell enjoys everything from Rosoff's vermouth that is "balanced, herbaceous and exactly bitter enough" to the dishes that are "not concerned in any way with the pseudo-tapas we've come to expect from Spanish food in America:"
I could eat a 100 percent vegetarian meal here and be totally satisfied. A wedge of roasted butternut squash is dense and fudgy with vegetal sweetness, set off with what's listed on the menu as dukkah but is actually kind of deconstructed dukkah; the word, which usually refers to a mix of spices and nuts, means "to pound," referencing the method used to make the stuff. Here the spices are mixed with whole roasted cashews and a flurry of sesame seeds, making for a dish whose mouthfuls are half sweet flesh and half two kinds of crunch, two kinds of nuttiness. This isn't a concoction where the creativity comes in by way of clever contrasts; rather, the accompaniments and cooking method are there to amplify the squash's original attributes. [LAW]
Ultimately, B-Rod reiterates that the restaurant is "still worth the hassle, which is saying quite a lot," and awards Moruno three stars.