Fine-dining Italian returns to Excelsior at Victor’s on Water, located just down the block from the former home of the elegant Biella. In the kitchen, longtime Modern Café chef Phillip Becht has made the move from simmering pot roast in Northeast to tossing pizzas and rolling pasta by the lake.
The kitchen uses a deft hand to balance savory and sweet: a thick pork chop is paired with pear-date mostarda, and Serrano peppers play well with dates on a thin-crust pizza. There’s a chunky Bolognese sauce that would do any nona proud, amped up with diced veggies—an ideal complement to thick, handmade fettuccine. And light, tender gnocchi are served with a silky truffle vinaigrette and moist milk-poached chicken, a coalescence of delicate textures.
Disappointments are few and far between, mostly related to a few under-seasoned items. But if early bites are any indication, Becht is giving boaters good reason to bypass the pileup at Maynard’s for a more epicurean experience downtown. • victorsonwaterstreet.com