When Italian Food is An Insult
When I go to a franchise or chain restaurant like Olive Garden I don’t expect much, in fact, I find it amusing what they interpret as Italian food. However, when I am in an Italian restaurant which claims to be authentic, family owned, etc, I become very critical. I especially become critical when they put “pappardelle” on the specials menu and it comes, as you see it above, as simply wide fettuccine. Now, I am a pretty reasonable and rational person. If the waiter had said to me “we are out of pappardelle, can we substitute wide fettuccine?” at least then I can decide and in this case I would have most certainly decided on a different dish. And, for those who don’t know, pappardelle should be almost half the thickness of what you see above and almost double the width.
But, it does not end there. This dish came, with very little in garlic flavor, hardly any pignoli nuts and while the mushrooms were fresh, the sauce was more of a broth and way to thin to stick to the pasta, or in this case, noodles. This was more of a fettuccine soup than what easily could have been a delicious mushroom sauce dish that nearly any type of pasta could have been served with.
My beef here is commanding New York pricing without actually delivering something that is even close to what it should be. By the way, this is what papardelle should look like. Its half the thickness, homemade and much wider. Its not a big deal to the casual diner, but it is to the foodie who is Italian and is very critical when you charge $25 for a plate of pasta that is anything else than homemade, fresh and/or the type listed on the menu.
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