F&F: La Gazzetta @ Villa Pacri

July 27th, 2010 by Dick Johnson

PX This presents THE F&F REVIEW

Hey, sorry we couldn’t make it to "Friends&Family," we were out of town/ had to work/ not invited. We’re really glad we finally managed to come by, though— it’s so nice to see you!
What’s that? You would still like us to take the time to fill out the F&F survey, because you’d love to take advantage of all our vast experience, knowledge, insight, and expertise as long as we’re already here? Because you invited 75 people to F&F, and afterward all you got was 41 "Congrats[es]!" 22 "Awesome[s]!" 3 "Ciao[s]!" and 9 "Best of luck[s]!" ?
Of course, we’d be honored. Oh ha, yesss, we’ll be honest— brutally honest even, ha ha! After all, that’s what friends & family are for!
No no please, don’t send anything more, we’re stuffed, we can’t breathe, you’ll have to roll us out of here, ha ha ha… !


La Gazzetta @ Villa Pacri

What was your first impression?
Cute. Oops, and… hot. Opening pains, no AC. But the jumbo industrial fans seem to be doing a decent job, considering. (Or ha ha, maybe I’m just grateful for the effort. Come on, Paris— get your shit together. These guys are European; now you really have no excuse.)

Please rate the Bar:
Decent. On the small side, but accommodating enough. Clean, organized, and the bartender is proficient if not particularly effusive.

Please rate the drinks/ cocktails/ wine:
Good. Usually, I’m a vodka/rocks kind of guy, but lately this interminable heatwave has me really appreciating outdoor cafés in the midday hours. What’s more refreshing than an aperitivo when the sun starts to subside? You’re throroughly wilted; now you need a pick me up.
Anyway, my point is: I’ve gained a fondness for the various Aperol/Cynar concoctions around town— and La Gazzetta’s ‘La Gazzetta’ is no exception. Made with rum and crushed wild cherries, it won me over at the first sip. The fresh watermelon margarita was good, too. Nice ingredients on the list overall, and the price range is suitable if not especially a bargain. The wines "from the barrel" however, are a bit more accessible.

Please rate the Dining Room:
Well done. Comfortable. Simple but creative. Definitely some ample experience in restaurant design at work here. All the little details are just right (save for the "temporary glitch" with the HVAC, I mean. Apparently, that will be "fixed by next week.")

Please rate the BOH:
Very good. Better than I’d expected actually. The menu is hardly imaginative— just a reflection of the very numerous Italian trattorias already dotting the area below 14th St. But, there’s obviously a very skilled and meticulous hand at work here. The freshness, deliciousness, and conscientiousness more than make up for the dearth of ingenuity. (Ha, sometimes ingenuity can be your worst enemy.) Lots and lots of potential here.

How was the staff?
Enthusiastic and amiable. And clearly of the more international variety.
It’s cute and kind of endearing; it just adds to the authenticity.

What did you eat?/ How was the food?
Prosciutto Cotto and Fontina Paninetti : Uh, it’s delicious, but did somebody get my order wrong? Because this tastes a little more like the "San Daniele and Mozzarella" selection. Oh well, at least it’s good, and I’m too lazy to send it back and wait for another. Also, I was expecting more of a flatbread— but only because the menu states the "paninetti" is served on "flatbread," contrary to say, the "panini" for example.
But again, whatever. If I weren’t enjoying it, I could be a bit annoyed. To their credit, I’m not at all.
Lentil Salad : Very good. But somehow, I must have completely missed the diminutive "cotechino" elaborative description underneath, because I was very (pleasantly) surprised to find a big sausage on top. Just a warning— to a meat eater it was bliss; to a vegan, maybe not so much.
But the execution was delectable, and in retrospect, a good offering for the price.
Chicken and Pepperoni Tramezzini : Good, but I don’t quite detect the pepperoni, which is what I found slightly intriguing. But still yummy and good for nibbling. (Excuse me, I’ll have another La Gazzetta, please…)
Polpette : Very good. Tasty, hearty, scrumptious. But I mean, really— who doesn’t love a good meatball?
I really wanted to try the "Eggs Benedict" next : But urgh, I’m stuffed. The description of "pizza bianca, cotto, and fonduta" sounds really alluring though, especially given the quality I’ve experienced thus far. I’m jumping ahead, but yeah, I’ll be back for that one.

What did you like?
It was pretty much all satisfactory.

What did you dislike?
I don’t normally care much for AC, but in 95+ degree weather…

What was your last impression?
Finally, this one might actually have a good shot at working here.

Would you come back?
Mmmm bennnediiict….

Thank you, and hope to see you soon!
Thanks, it was a pleasure.



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