Sometimes reading the listserv without a doubt pays off. I have been eying the Palace Theatre in our quaint little square ever since they put on Best Little Whorehouse in Texas last year, but am generally put-off by the $16 *discounted price tag. Hidden amongst the usual dribble, someone fabulous on campus was offering free tickets for students [obviously to promote a younger crowd attendance] so for my accomplice & my faux anniversary date we decided to see Nunsense II: The Second Coming ((and it was nearly as good as the implication.))
Anywho, so the point is we got a coupon for Amante‘s &/or WildFire, and since neither of us particularly has an interest in “wild game” [except, of course, for the accomplice's idiotic obsession with lion farming] we decided to check out the new Italian place on the square & make it an entirely bourge evening out.
Obviously slightlyover-dressed for the 5:30 time we went, [happy hour ended at 6] we were pleasantly surprised by the romantic ambiance and generally amicable old-timey restaurant appeal.
Unfortunately, as soon as people started arriving, “quaint” and “cozy” became “loud” and “awkward”. The tables for 2 are literally spaced with just enough room for are thin-waisted waitress to fit, and might as well be one bench seat with the capacity for conversation quickly dwindling to none.
The artisan-baked bread [we were assured by the very cute manager], which has to be requested, is thankfully still complementary but unfortunately was so bland I, plain bread enthusiast, wouldn’t eat it without tons of fresh parmesan & olive oil and the accomplice whined about it being far too crusty. We were allotted a free appetizer with our coupon so we got (my favorite appetizer) bruschetta, which turned out to be more of a tomato relish on a large crouton than true bruschetta. Obviously, we should have opted for the fried mozzarella sticks or fried raviolis, but I am firmly in the camp that doesn’t see “fried” as an appropriate option in an Italian restaurant, much less one that attempts to hint at quality. Call me a snob, but I would have been paying “9.” for it so I feel the sentiment is only fitting.
Anywho, our waitress was nice, if over-attentive, and our food arrived quite quickly (it is only fair to alert fellow thrifty college kids that they charge extra to split it in the back, although it’s free to split it yourself). The linguine [which is supposed to be a long, thin, flat noodle] was more like spaghetti, and there really was nothing impressive about the marinara sauce– which arguably for Italian places should be what sets them apart– the sauce.
As far as vegetarian options go (obviously there’s nothing vegan beyond the salads– this is Italian), your options are mostly pasta and cheese with cream sauce [way heavy], or what I got, which I wouldn’t recommend [the linguine with marinara and olives & mushrooms]. Nothing stuffed, no lasagna, nothing new or exciting.
So, dear vegetarians, if you’re looking for somewhere to spend at minimum “35.” for 2, look elsewhere– & I’ll keep you updated on where exactly.
happy rainy monday.