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Quality ingredients and parts at a good price

Liz Ferguson

After being closed for a little undis a year, Tannin became a love story again when it reopened in December. the eastern place for pasta and wine, I celebrated its return last week with a romantic friend. We sat at the bar, drank wine, ate good food and caught up, and I felt (in my own way) almost doing it all within walking distance of my house — like the Lansing version of “Sex and the City. ” Well, maybe I need to get out more.

But I’m perverse. Tannin’s menu offers a variety of Italian dishes and main dishes and one option I would like to have at other restaurants: a portion of entrées at a reasonable price. Yes, leftovers are great, but as a (cheap) person who keeps picking at dishes until they’re out of my sight, I like to pay a little more for what I really want and need to eat. In addition to the delicious free bread, this is exactly what parmesan made my meal. My friend is like a bird eater, so half of it doesn’t mean much to him either. If we hadn’t ordered wine the bill would have been less than $25 before tip.

Something I always want to order but never do, this dish was very satisfying. The marinara sauce was bright and fresh, not the heavy, homogenous sauce one might expect, and the penne was perfectly cooked. But both reached their full potential when paired with a well-cooked chicken breast that was thinly sliced, then fried and pan-fried, creating a delicious, sweet yet juicy dish. I especially appreciated the quality of the melted Parmesan on top, along with a sprinkling of fresh basil.

Our server was very knowledgeable and helpful about the extensive wine list, and this, along with the obvious quality of the ingredients and the generous portion prices, gave the impression of being well catered for most of the time – forget that eating out is so much fun. Maybe it’s because I live in the neighborhood, but my experience is called almost peaceful, which is saying something for a restaurant that sits in Kentucky Fried Chicken.

I should add that the date I took the food left me with the leftovers, so I’m sure the fettuccine alfredo is also good, even if it’s eaten cold for breakfast the next day. Like in “Sex and the City”.