Monday, October 29, 2007


This Hillcrest eatery is packed on weekends. By packed, I mean that the hostess will laugh when you ask if they're taking walk-ins. I've enjoyed my previous visits there, but will I wait over an hour for the food? Probably not. Then again, I'm not willing to wait over an hour for most food.

On Saturday, October 13, we met up with friends at Arrivederci. I'd have to say that perhaps a little bit of the shine wore off (the restaurant, not the friends!). The last time I was there, I enjoyed a squid ink risotto that was quite delicious. This time, I had the spinach gnocchi with blue cheese cream sauce, which was fine. That's kind of the only comment I have about the entire experience. It was fine. Nothing terrible, nothing incredible. We had to wait, even with a reservation. The service was good. Ambiance-wise, they do a lot to create the feel of a rustic Italian building, but the noise is deafening. You have to scream to talk to your neighbor. Nothing particularly intimate about that.

The good part was that my gnocchi was nicely done. Not a ton of spinach flavor, but it was mashed spinach instead of spinach puree, making the leaves slightly recognizable. The sauce was a basic cream sauce. A tad on the heavy side and while it tasted like blue-cheese (I don't know which kind), I would have preferred more of a punch of the sharp flavor that typifies blue-cheese.

The bad part was the noise, the really salty bread, and the fact that T.'s toes were merciless mowed over by a lady and her walker. I was not a fan of the pile of vomit that greeted us when we exited the restaurant. It was literally right on the edge of the patio and D. almost stepped in it.

D. and I were discussing the menu and while the food was good, we felt it was rather unimaginative. Three bases (tomato, cream, wine) formed the majority of the sauces and the ingredients were pretty basic. His meal (tortellini with ham, peas, and cream sauce) could have been mine except for the blue cheese and the different pastas. I think that Italian food has become so mainstream nowadays that it isn't enough to stick to basics anymore. It needs to be inventive and work with a variety of materials from all regions of Italy.

0 bites:

0 bites