After reading the wonderful reviews on Yelp, including one written recently by a trusted Yelp friend from New Orleans, I was looking forward to a nice lunch in Oltrarno near Chiesa Santo Spirito while in the neighborhood visiting Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s former home, Casa Guidi. The last time we ate on this side of the river, we were disappointed at best and, unfortunately, that was also the case on this our second visit.
I ordered the Ribollita (€6.50), a hearty Tuscan soup made with stale bread, cannellini beans, and vegetables like cabbage, carrots, celery and the like. It was tasty and filling, accompanied by the local unsalted bread which I utilized to mop-up what was left in the bowl. For such a basic dish, what Italians would unassumingly call a “peasants” dish, the price was a tad high and probably should have been in the €4-€5 range.
|Tortellini Panna e Prosciutto|
My wife had the tortellini panna e prosciutto (€7.50), a not so generous dish of apparently handmade tortellini, bravo, in a cream sauce with pieces of prosciutto crudo. Unfortunately, her tortellini were not close to “al dente” and could have used another minute or two in the boiling water. I have eaten is hundreds of restaurants in Italy and I have never been served either undercooked or overcooked pasta. If a kitchen in Italy cannot cook pasta properly, they have no excuse for being in business. Strike TWO!
When the waiter arrived and asked how our meal was, my wife told him about the pasta, but he seemed to care less. We ordered a piece of tiramisu to share and it was also below average. While waiting for the check, I saw several tables of “locals” being served a complimentary “digestivo” before leaving, usually a local beverage such as grappa or limoncello. But the tourists, my wife and I obviously, were neither offered a digestivo nor an apology for the poorly cooked pasta. After all, we were “just a couple more annoying tourists”. Strike THREE … YOUR OUT!
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Title: Disappointing At Best … Undercooked Pasta, Mediocre Service, A Poor Value