Tag Archives: italian dining

Michelangelo Ristorante: upbeat Italian in the suburbs

I must have driven past Michelangelo Ristorante hundreds of times during law school, and I still do regularly. I don’t know what took me so long to try it out.

Not the only restaurant on the stretch of Highland Drive just south of the intersection of Highland Dr. and 1300 E , Michelangelo Ristorante is a step (0r two) above the Del Taco across the street from it and the Crown Burger further south. It’s about ten minutes from downtown and just over the bridge from Sugarhouse.

The restaurant exudes a hip upbeat ambiance, complemented by high ceilings and nearly wall length windows, dark wood tables, black napkins, and capacious glasses. In addition to couple-sized booths in the front, the restaurant has room for larger groups in a second room (we had six, but they had seats for more at our table), as well as a back room with a door for lunch meetings of larger groups.

I ordered a cheese ravioli with a marinara sauce laced with chopped tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves. It was served after a green leafy salad  drizzled with a balsamic vinegar dressing and sprinkled with ground pepper. I’ve never had a salad like it, and though it was a bit different, I enjoyed it. The ravioli was light and flavorful, and the sauce tasted hearty and fresh. The meal was accompanied with bread that I could not eat enough of, as well as beaker of oil and vinegar for dipping.

Others in my group had paninis, which they recommended, as well as a gorgonzola gnocchi, which was delicious (I sampled a bite). In fact, when I return, it’s likely I’ll order the gnocchi instead of the ravioli.

My one gripe was the service. While we were quickly seated, our orders promptly and accurately taken, and our glasses filled, the waiter was slow to fill our glasses, and in fact, I don’t think returned to fill the water glasses. Additionally, he did not keep track of who ordered what, and several of the members of our party were given the wrong paninis when the food was served.

Fortunately, the food was delicious. That alone would make the restaurant worth returning to a second time. The food’s appeal is bolstered by its price–lunch was just over $10, with a drink (though that drink was never actually refilled).

Michelangelo Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Visconti House: cozy and quiet Italian food

First things first: if you’re not looking for Visconti House, you’re not going to find it. Snuggled back from the main road in Holladay, not far from City Hall, it feels like you’re heading up into a residential neighborhood. Tucked back away from the road, the Visconti House is quiet, discrete, and cozy.

I visited for lunch, and while there were a couple other patrons in the very small dinning room, they soon left, and I and my lunch appointment were left alone. Italian opera played from speakers that were turned up just a tad too loud when we entered, but when we asked the waitress had no problem tuning them to a more comfortable level. With wood floors that creaked when walked upon, small white tables set for two, and a room not much larger than the living room in any home, the atmosphere was comfortable and almost intimate.

As for the food, I enjoyed the spaghetti with sausage, though it was nothing that left me more than satisfied. The sausage itself was delicious, though, and made the meal well worth it. We were served bread and salads before hand with a house dressing of some type of balsamic vinegar. My companion ordered the tortellini, and while he said he enjoyed it, he did not seem very impressed, either.

With lunch entrees costing about $8 to $10, the menu affordable enough that I would like to return again, at least once, to try it again. Because it’s close to home, for me, it would make a good stop for a quick date when time is short.

Visconti House on Urbanspoon