A while back I posted that I would do a restaurant review. John was taking me out to a new restaurant that recently opened and I thought it would be a good time to review the place. We did dine at Russo’s Coal Fired Italian Kitchen at the RIM in San Antonio. I did start to write the review, but honestly it was hard getting started. My word imagery was hard to find because if I can only say one good thing, should I even review the restaurant?
I’m sure most would say a resounding yes. I mean I would want to know if a place is not worth my time, money, or stomach. However, I have been trained in the art of critiquing. Say a few good things at the beginning, then something that can be worked on, and then follow up with the best part of whatever you are reviewing. In most cases that works. Then there are other times when you are scratching your brain to come up with something on a positive side. This happened when visiting Russo’s, and I almost ended up with writers block.
However, I am going to try and write this review…
Russo’s is a part of a large chain boasting restaurants from Florida to Hawaii.
When I read the “about us” on their web page I was excited to try this restaurant. It talked about their coal fired Italian kitchen venues, with their award winning Russo’s New York style pizzeria, and how they expanded their concept to make it more of an upscale, sit-down ristorante atmosphere. Russo’s goal is to offer excellent, authentic Italian cooking, at an affordable price.
Nevertheless, it failed on the upscale atmosphere, and if the goal is excellence in authentic Italian cooking, well, they failed that too.
We started with calamari fritti and mussels fra diavolo. The calamari came out cold and the mussels were overcooked. The spicy hot Pinot Grigio marinara sauce wasn’t spicy, although it did have a nice flavor. Just not what I was expecting after reading about the dish on the menu.
The house salad was so full of bell pepper, red onion, and cabbage, it made me think I mistakenly asked to have it without lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and cucumber. John’s caesar salad was okay.
The entrées came and were placed before us. I ordered the clams al cartoccio and John ordered the lobster ravioli. Both dishes had gummy pasta. I believe the intention was to have it al dente, but the pasta partially stuck to my molars. On top of gumminess, both dishes were lukewarm at best.
I will now finally follow up with what I like best about the restaurant; the complimentary bread and olive oil. The bread had a nice flavor, with the herbs and spices complimenting each other.
If Russo’s is to succeed at the RIM, they better work on their timing, flavor, and how to deliver on their promises from their web page.
I guess I can review if I only have one good thing to say. It was the bread, but you can’t survive on just bread alone.
Until next time, happy creating.