Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Giorgio's for Mother's Day

Giorgio Italian Restaurant
May 8, 2010
7ish pm

We had heard a few murmurrings of a good Italian restaurant in Clintonville and decided to give it a shot for our small family combination celebration dinner of Mother's Day and my birthday.  Italian was sounding like it would hit the spot! 

We arrived to a softly lit and intimately quiet restaurant.  The owner, I presume, warmly greated us and insisted we take the only open table (large enough for 6 or more, even though there were only 3 of us) rather than saving it for a potentially larger group.  We were thankful we didn't have to wait. 

The decor of the restaurant was Tuscan simplicity and I loved the solid wood furniture pieces used for service.

For an appetizer we decided to share the caprese salad which was standardly prepared with fresh tomatoes, fresh mozarella, a drizzle of sweet balsamic vinegar, and a chiffonade of fresh basil.  I was surprised with how high the quality the tomatoes were with it being so early in the spring.  It made me look forward to what my garden would have to offer later in the summer. 

Bread was brought out that had a crusty and flaky outside, but light and warm in the center.  This was served with a great herbed butter. 

Service was quick and just as we finished our salad our entrees were ready.  Erik went with the chicken parmesan.  Overall, this was a very good dish.  The breading was not too heavy, but not too light.  It was well browned and nicely coated with cheese.  The red sauce was light and not overpowering or sweet, but gave just enough bite to temper the heaviness of the chicken. 

My mother ordered the baked penne, which was a very good dish.  There were chunks of mushroom that added meaty flavor and chunks of fennel that gave the dish a different, but very good spin.  And of course you can never go wrong with an ooey, gooey cheese topping of mozarella, provolone, and romano. 

I ordered the pesto penne and I wish I would have gone with a more traditional baked pasta dish.  I ordered the penne without chicken (trying to save a few calories), but it came out with chicken anyway.  Our waitress quickly caught the mistake and brought me another penne fairly quickly.  The penne was cooked to a wonderful al dente and overall the sauce and pasta toss was nice.  I really enjoyed the roasted red peppers and spinach leaves in with the pasta, but the pesto was heavy on the olive oil and light on the basil.  I would have preferred the opposite for a lighter and more herby flavor.

Overall, we loved the atmosphere and friendliness of the staff.  The majority of our dishes were wonderful.

Total Price:  1 martini, 1 glass of wine, 1 Coke, 3 entrees, and tip = $60

Overall Rating:  3 1/2 buckeyes

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