>> Thursday, June 04, 2009
Benatti is a new, upscale Italian restaurant that very recently opened in Cambridge in Inman Square. I had read some pretty good reviews about the place, so Bryan and I thought we would try it out tonight.
Over all impression? The food is fine, but really expensive and the portions are tiny, just like all the reviewers said.
Pastas are around $21 and the meat entrees are around $32. You can get 1/2 portions of pasta for half price plus a $3 surcharge. I came away disappointed because I was expecting to be wowed by the food, but I only thought it was alright. I didn't think it was worth the $94 food bill (before tax & tip!).
This is what we ordered (sorry, I forgot my camera, so no pictures today). I started with the antipasto of grilled vegetables. It cost $11 and consisted of one slice of eggplant, one slice of zucchini, half a roasted red pepper, an asparagus spear, and a small wedge of fennel bulb. The roasted veggies were fine and the balsalmic vinegar + oil dressing was nice. However, the flavors did not wow me, and I thought it was kind of expensive for what I got.
Bryan started with the pan seared sea scallops over sauteed fennel and spinach in an orange juice reduction. This was actually pretty good, and probably the highlight of the evening. Oh, I will say that the fresh bread is delicious! It's warm on the inside and crispy on the outside. Served with balsamic vinegar and oil. I really think the chef likes balsamic vinegar.
My entree was the handmade pasta stuffed with seasonal herbs and vegetables tossed with sundried tomatoes and asparagus. I thought the raviolis were slightly over cooked (just a bit over al dente) and I thought the dish was borderline salty (note - I do not eat very salty in general. Bryan thought the salt level was fine.) I only ate half of my dish (4 raviolis) because I just didn't feel like eating any more of it.
Bryan ordered the lasagna, which was also made with handmade pasta. Although it was good, it was not nearly as good as the pasta that we had at the Monday Club a few days back. The prices at the Monday Club are lower, and the food is better. We both agreed we much preferred the Monday Club.
Well, I was really excited about the idea of a good Italian restaurant that made homemade pastas in Cambridge. Maybe my expectations were just a bit too high. We likely will not go back anytime soon, although I'm willing to go back one more time to give them one last try.