Wednesday, February 07, 2007
I go here often, but this is my first official visit since I became a self proclaimed restaurant critic. Kristee and I braved the Provo chain, and for the most part was very pleased. She ordered the eggplant parmigian, which turned out to be more like a manicotti. Eggplant wrapped around cheese and covered in marinara sauce. She let me taste it, and it was a surprisingly good twist to a usually very simple dish.
I ordered the Ravioli Pescatora. It is basically a seafood ravioli (mixture of crab, shrimp, lobster, and cheese) in a lobster cream sauce. Normally it is garnished with a chiffonade (thin cut strips) of basil, and tiny salad shrimps. This particular instance was tiny bits of lobster!!! Very nice surprise! There are very few things so far in my experiences that have made me want to lick my plate clean. This is one of them. I let Kristee try some too, and in fact, she came back for more later in the meal! Neither of us could finish our entire meals, so we got to-go boxes. We left them on the table when we left. CURSES!!!
For some reason, I am just cursed with bad experiences with friends at restaurants. They can usually go a million times and not have one single problem. The minute they go with me, all of a sudden there is a problem. Either the waiter, the menu, the food, the hostesses, you name it!
I seem to have better luck at the Provo restaurant than I do the American Fork restaurant. I also think the Provo one tastes a little better too. I will still probably go to the A.F. one since I have a few friends that live out that way, but I think I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Provo.
PROS: Authentic Italian feel in the ambiance. Good food. Average service. All you can eat foccacia bread (you'll have to ask for more if you eat the basket they give you, but they'll give it to you).
CONS: Wait service is average. Hostesses rarely have a clue (AF). Servers take your food and box it up for you (some people might like that but it bugs me). Chiffonade of basil is a lousy garnish. Rule #1 in plating and garnishing is that you don't garnish with something someone won't actually eat. I can't really even call it a chiffonade, these are usually giant uneven strips plopped right in the middle of the dish. It is almost as bad as another restaurant and their giant sprig of parsley that has no purpose whatsoever!