Isn't it a little goofy to be going all retro/homestyle with the "gravy" reference, while simultaneously going all upscale/snooty with the "San Marzano" reference?But then the further nagging thought was:
And where have I seen this before? What other place would refer to "San Marzano gravy" on the menu?After a little searching around I placed it: Devito South Beach, whose menu features an "Original Old School Meatball - Whipped Ricotta, Nonna's Marzano Gravy". Hmph. But that's not all. Consider the following:
Devito: Calamari Devito - crispy calamari, peppers, spicy Marzano tomato sauce
Racks: Calamari "My Way" - Lemon + Spicy Marinara + Cherry Peppers + Basil
Devito: The Original Italian Chop - Salumi, provolone, diced vegetables, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers
Racks: Italian "Chop" - Salumi + Aged Provolone + Onion + Chick Peas + Tomato + Egg
Devito: Whole Branzino - Spiced tomato jam, aged balsamic vinegar, Olio Verde broth
Racks: Branzino - Tomato Jam + Cracked Olives + Capers + Lemon + Oil Verde
Both also offer their salumi and formaggi (almost identical selections) with accompaniments of truffle honey and amarena cherries.
The Devito menu is much more expansive than the offerings at Racks, yet does not feature the coal-oven pizzas that are provoking oohs and ahhs at Racks, so this is nowhere near the same magnitude as the outright menu-lifting which Nexxt Cafe did from Cheesecake Factory several years ago. And yet there are enough similarities to make me wonder: Is there some connection in the kitchen between Devito and Racks, or did Racks just like what it saw at Devito and try to mimic it? And regardless, can we please just nip this whole "San Marzano gravy" thing in the bud?
Edited to add: I should have also mentioned one other notable difference between Devito's menu and Racks' menu - prices. For instance, Racks' meatball appetizer is $11, while Devito's is a hefty $17 (!!!). That's one *pricy* meatball.