Friday, August 19, 2011

Restaurants: Trattoria Delia

Matt and I checked out Trattoria Delia last night. Yelpers rave about this place, calling it the best Italian food in northern Vermont. I’m always skeptical about places hyped this much, but I went with an open mind.

The interior was very old-school (not in a good way), with the big wooden door, dark walls, and fancy tablecloths. I was immediately turned off when we sat down and our waitress placed a bottle of wine on our table. I’m pretty sure this is a technique the Olive Garden uses to sell more wine. I guess they think that if you see it, you’re going to buy it. Sure enough, they swiftly took away the original bottle when we ordered our own bottle of wine. I thought this was really tacky.

A few things on the menu struck me as odd. Almost every pasta dish had cream and sounded extremely heavy. Don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t coming here for a diet meal – but their combinations just sounded too rich. Also, random words in their menu descriptions were in Italian, which were italicized to show, I can only assume, how “authentic” the restaurant is.

“Wood-grilled fish of the day served with a marinata of olive oil, garlic, lemon, parsley and black pepper.”

None of these things would really matter to me if the food was good.

We started with the bruschetta. The first piece I tried had so much garlic that it actually burned the roof of my mouth. I couldn’t even taste the tomatoes. The second was lighter on the garlic, but still lacked flavor. I was at least hoping for some basil, but instead we got a few leaves of wilted arugula and a couple of sad olives

Matt ordered the Orecchiette con Fricone, which was described as a fried tomato sauce with crushed garlic, red pepper, and arugula. This was probably the most successful dish of the night, but it still wasn’t great. The pasta was cooked inconsistently and we both expected there to be more tomatoes.

I ordered the Gamberoni, which were blue prawns coated with bread crumbs and then grilled over a wood fire. It came with parsley infused olive oil and so-called “grilled vegetables.” The shrimp were overcooked and the olive oil didn’t add much flavor. The vegetables were a definite afterthought. The green beans were mushy and unseasoned. The carrots tasted like they were honey glazed (yes, like the kind people eat on thanksgiving). For $25, I was hoping for some fresh, grilled summer vegetables.

I’m not sure why, but we stuck around for dessert hoping things would get better. We ordered the Profiteroles. The pastry was dry and rubbery and the gelato was flavorless. To cover up the quality of the profiteroles, they were drenched in a syrupy chocolate sauce.

I have to attribute all of the good reviews to the fact that there aren’t many Italian restaurants in the area. For what we paid for our meal here (a lot!), I really cannot say good things about Trattoria Delia.

Trattoria Delia
152 Saint Paul Street
Burlington, VT 05401
Trattoria Delia on Urbanspoon

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