Monday, August 12, 2013

Incognito: A Well Kept Secret

Sausage & Prosciutto Pizza
I have walked down 18th Street many a time, but a couple of weeks ago I noticed a new spot called Incognito Bistro. Shortly after, I was invited to come try it out. Then I learned that it's not actually a new restaurant, but that they were just very aptly named. However, they've made a few changes recently which is why I suddenly noticed it and had the opportunity to try it out.

Now if you are reading this review because you are considering going to Incognito, I can save you a lot of time. Stop thinking about it and GO. However, if you want to see some gorgeous food photos and torture yourself by reading about delicious food that you aren't eating right now, then by all means, continue.

We whetted our appetites with a couple of slices of Chef Paolo's personal favorite pizza topped with prosciutto and house made sausage. Just look at how thin this crust is!

Sausage & Prosciutto Pizza - Side View
Next was a taste of four of the appetizers: the grilled Calamari, Caprese, Terrine of Duck Livers, and Meatballs. Of these, my favorite was the Calamari because it was amazing in its simplicity, yet total perfection. I also had to feature the Caprese because the buffalo mozzarella is imported from Naples and was incredibly creamy. Also off the appetizer menu was the Gazpacho and the Beef Carpaccio.



Caprese & Terrine of Duck Livers


Beef Carpaccio
Each bite was delightful and Chef Paolo's mastery became immediately clear. I was very excited to see what else he had prepared for the evening.

On the menu for the first main course tasting was the Highland Haggis. Now's a good time to explain that Chef Paolo and his wife and co-owner Adriana are Italian Scottish. Meaning, they are from Scotland but of Italian descent. In honor of their home country, there is a "Scottish Corner" of the menu celebrating that part of their heritage.

This was my first time trying Haggis and as you well know, it is an infamous dish. I absolutely loved it! The haggis is made in-house and served over turnips and creamed potatoes with whisky jus. The only problem is that this has set a very high bar for Haggis for me.

Highland Haggis
By this point, I was getting pretty full so vowed to only try one bite of each tasting going forward. Then the pasta tastings of Incognito Pasta, Piccante, and Lobster Ravioli appeared.

Pasta Tastings
And, well, you can see how well that plan worked out. The Incognito ragu is made with mushroom and eggplant, but if I hadn't known that I would've never guessed it was vegetarian! The lobster ravioli was served in rich saffron butter and the Piccante was my favorite because it had a serious spicy kick to it.
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So now I am getting uncomfortably full, but then this beautiful Isle of Skye Scallop appeared in front of me swimming in fennel beurre blanc with a parmesan crust. Chef Paolo explained that the darker orange part is the roe, which is commonly served with the dish in Europe, but thrown away in the US. After trying it, I simply can't believe that we throw this away, it's an absolute crime. Even though I was stuffed, I savored each bite of this dish and it skyrocketed to the top of favorites for the evening.

Isle of Skye Scallops
We finished the meal with a couple of bites of Cranachan, a parfait of mascarpone cream, meringue, toasted oats, and wild berry compote. The perfect way to end such a perfect meal!

So, to summarize, if you are walking down 18th street and look in a window and see this:
Incognito Bistro - Interior 
Stop! Go inside and have a lovely meal made by this masterful Chef:

Chef Paolo Montana (Press Photo)

Incognito Bistro on Urbanspoon

*My meal was provided by the restaurant as part of a Press Dinner.


  1. This place looks really cool! I've passed by it a lot as well, and the name of it always caught my eye (ironically?). Thanks for sharing your experience and the beautiful photos! :)

  2. Glad you enjoyed, you should absolutely stop in for a bite!