We recently had dinner at Stra Bacco and unfortunately I came away with a slightly different perception of this restaurant than most TA reviewers. The local is situated in a quaintly decorated older building, featuring a rustic wood motif. Tables were set with nice tablecloths and quality eating utensils (including a great steak knife.) There was a constant annoying mix of African and Arabic music; not a Chill Out mix, that greatly took away any relaxing atmosphere. We sat up in the front area of the restaurant and there seemed to be little if any heat. This may be attributed to the nearby entrance; however, there wasn't much clientele traffic on this Thursday evening.
I started my meal with the tagliatelle pasta made with porcini mushrooms. The homemade pasta was tasty and the mushrooms were fresh. The waitress didn't offer to bring any grated Parmesan cheese to go with the pasta. I followed this with an order of the Grilled Lamb Chops and a side dish of sautéed spinach. The three thick cut chops were perfectly cooked and delicious. There was no care made in presentation of either of these dishes, aside from a pile of rocket salad leaves with the chops. My wife enjoyed her sliced steak drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction with a side order of grilled vegetables. As we are eating our meal, the waitress asked if she could take the condiments away for another nearby table. I guess there is a shortage of condiment sets at Stra Bacco.
For dessert we shared the chocolate cake with a warm chocolate center. This is the same prepared chocolate cake every restaurant serves, as all that is required for the chef to do is to pop it into the oven, plate and serve.
Stra Bacco's prices were reasonable with our above meal plus a half-liter of house wine, a bottle of water and a glass of grappa totaling 57 euros. The "chic dining" advertised on Stra Bacco's website was far from being chic. The waitress was loud and very casual in her service; similar to what you would find in a family owned Trattoria or Osteria. They seemed to be somewhat understaffed, as they weren't very attentive to service and forgot to bring items to our table. The music left me with a headache. The previous two nights I visited other area restaurants (see my reviews for Ai 2 Ladroni and Menarosti) and I preferred the overall dining experience there.
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