Sunday, July 26, 2009

La Trattoria

Having lived in Greenwood for over 10 years, it was almost embarrassing that we had never tried La Trattoria, old downtown Greenwood's best known restaurant. We picked a beautiful night to sit outside and enjoy the most mild July to date. We were seated immediately. Ozzy was even allowed to choose the table -- a very kid-friendly gesture on the host's part.

Our waitress is one we won't soon forget. Sassy to an extreme. Rude on purpose as it is her schtick. It worked very well and she always left us smiling. At her suggestion, we started the evening with the stuffed portabello, pictured above. Ouff. It was so good. Garlicy, creamy and salty. We couldn't place the cheese, but our question to the waitress was met with only a "oh you think I'm going to tell you" stare. Perfect.

Her first recommendation being spot on, we kept them coming. First, the house Chianti for Fred --Tasty, fully bodied, great nose and a generous portion. FLO approves. As for the meal, Libby agreed to the 8-ounce filet, medium rare with veggies and roasted potatoes. Fred, the special. Seabass, blackened also with veggies and potatoes. Even Ozzy took the suggestion for the marinara instead of meat sauce.

From the appetizer on, Fred's review goes south. While the salad course provided decent produce, it was drowning in dressing. With a powerfully tangy ceasar, a little goes a long way and a lot makes for an inedible salad.

Whether it was an oversight or by design, the seabass (while cooked perfectly) was not blackened nor did it have a hint of flavor. The veggies were the highlight of his plate. Again perfectly cooked, but this time seasoned very well.

Libby, thankfully, had much the opposite experience, save the equally overdressed salad. The waitress told us they were known for their steaks and it showed. She's unsure she has ever had a better steak. So flavorful and tender. Not sure if it was the aging, seasoning or the cooking technique but it was one of the most succulent steaks she has ever had. The parmesan crusted roasted potatoes were a perfect match as were the veggies. It was obvious they'd used butter to cook the steak and the resulting pool made for a wonderful melding with the other items on the plate.

Ozzy's pasta dish didn't receive much attention. While he had a few bites, he decided the complimentary garlic bread was a much more satisfying dining experience. Having tasted the marinara, we wonder if this was only the child's version. It was overly sweet, but probably suitable for a younger clientele.

For desert, Ozzy began with the complimentary mint/cherry/chocolate spumoni. But as there was something that looked like a giant Reese's Cup on Mommy's plate, he abandoned it quickly. Libby had ordered a giant chocolate layered ganache; an easy choice next to the cheesecakes and cannoli. Covered in spumoni and whipped cream, it was warm, rich and almost too much after the heavenly steak. Fred, per his norm, would rather drink his dessert. Again he was thwarted in that La Trattoria offers neither a sherry nor a port. Bah. Instead, our waitress offered up a white zin. Fred was skeptical but ended up pleasantly surprised. It was highly fruity with very strong strawberry overtones. Way too easy to drink. Not the decadent aperitif he was looking for, but welcome nonetheless.

Wrap Up
Price- $$$-$$$$, Our wallet still hasn't recovered. Oops!
Atmosphere-**, Green plastic chairs with your high end steaks? Really?
Service-****, Very attentive with extra helpings of sass. Her suggestions (minus the Seabass) were spot on.

Fred - C, Perhaps I should have sent my fish back. I was close to it.
Libby - A-, Amazing portabello, excellent steak and an overall rich dining experience.
Ozzy - B, Loved the bread and probably would have eaten more of the pasta had he been more hungry. Unfortunately the icecream had fruit in it. No go. Nice try mom & dad.

La Trattoria Italian on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Hoosier hospitality and Hoosier quality meaning, this place isn't for folks who have eaten in top quality restaurants outside of Indianapolis.

Epicurus said...

I have eaten here a number of times and was always very pleased. As the other comment pointed out, it isn't a NYC 5 star restaurant, but neither are the prices (thank God). If I wanted to pay an exorbitant amount for the priviledge of having someone clean the crumbs off the linen table cloth between courses I would seek out that type of restaurant. If, on the other hand, I want a great meal at a fair price, I would seek out La Trattoria or an equivalent.