Saturday, July 23, 2016

Tratto (Phoenix)

Located in the same space and without changing the footprint of Cypress Pita Grill (whose closure is still mourned as one of the great untold tragedies of Phoenix culinary history), Chris Bianco has opened Tratto right next door to Pizzeria Bianco in the now-bustling and some might even say hip Town & Country plaza. Tratto has some real positives, the primary one of which is that much of the food offerings are both unique in many ways and extremely tasty, and the bread is just fabulous (as his bread has been since the early 1980s with his first Pizzeria Bianco) even though you cannot get butter with it ... don't even ask ... just enjoy it with the oil and with the sauces that grace your dishes (and don't be afraid to wrastle your server to prevent him or her from trying to take away a dish that still has sauce you can mop up with your bread). What makes Tratto really work is the ease of sharing, e.g., for a group of 4 (which probably is the best size group to do Tratto with), two appetizers, two pastas, and one main dish should work great, giving everyone a delightful smorgasborg of tastes and an appropriate amount to eat (if you order the chicken for the main dish, either bring a butcher knife or ask the server to have it cut up into smaller pieces before it's served). Further, Tratto is aesthetically quite pleasing, the service is very good, and they are one of a vanishing breed of restaurants that take reservations.

One negative is the small water glasses, which remains a complete mystery because it just puts added burden on the servers and is annoying to the patrons who really like their water. Also, be warned, if you make a reservation or you have a choice, ask to have any table other than the one just West of the door, especially during the summer, for two reasons: (i) every time the door opens, you will get a blast of hot air (if you are stuck at the table, let your companion have the chair closer to the door ... it won't solve the problem for you, but you won't be blasted quite as much as your companion will); and (ii) there is only one other table in that space which, if occupied by two men who began drinking before you got there, and were still drinking when you left (having gone through at least 4 bottles of wine), and they have booming obnoxious voices, the totally acceptable noise level of Tratto (which does patrons the courtesy of not booming in noise) is ruined, and given their girth and inebriation, you don't want to confront the dudes.

Link to Tratto Website

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