Ricatoni’s opened in historic downtown Florence in 1996 and has been a fixture on Court Street every since. It has been recognized as the go to place for great Italian dishes and to celebrate all those special occasions in one’s life. Ricatoni’s is known for it fresh baked loaves of bread served with olive oil and their special blend of herbs. They also make great house-made pizzas cooked in a wood-burning oven.
We’ve eaten at Ricatoni’s through the years since moving to Florence and have always enjoyed the food and our last visit was no different. When we visited on Saturday afternoon, the crowds had not yet started coming in and we got seated immediately.
We studied the menu and Debra chose the Chicken Marsala ($16.95), which is a chicken breast seasoned and grilled, then topped with mushrooms in a Marsala wine sauce. Normally the dish is served with Tagliarini Piace Pellerossa, but Debra requested Fettuccine Alfredo as a substitute.
I decided on the Veal Parmesan ($15.95), it is breaded veal, lightly fried, then topped with Pomodoro sauce and mozzarella cheese. It is also served with Fettuccine Alfredo. The Pomodoro sauce is a simple and delicious tomato sauce and has a slight sweet flavor.
The server brought our drink orders along with a loaf of bread and a small plate with the dry herbs on it. I applied a liberal dose of the olive oil on the herbs and we started snacking on the herb soaked bread. Within a few more minutes our salads were delivered to the table and things grew quite as we both dug into the freshly made garden salad with mix greens, eggs, tomatoes, croutons, with bacon and our favorite dressing.
Our main courses arrived just at the right time in my opinion, we were just finishing up with the salads when they were sat on the table. Don’t know about you folks, but I do not like my main course to arrive at the table before I complete the salad course. Just one of those things that seems to be more the norm today than it used to be.
Both of our meals were fairly well presented on the plates and were appetizing to look at. You do know you eat with your eyes first, right! If it looks good enough to eat, it generally is good to eat.
Debra’s dish in her opinion was a bit on the dry side, the Chicken Marsala is usually saturated with the Marsala wine sauce, but her plate was lacking. In addition, the Fettuccine Alfredo normally served with a plate swimming in Alfredo sauce came out looking like it had been hung out to dry in the sun. The flavors of the Chicken Marsala and Fettuccine Alfredo were very good, but just dry.
My Veal Parmesan was also woefully lacking in Pomodoro sauce, what little that was on the veal was covered under a layer of mozzarella cheese. If the kitchen had added a small laddle of the Pomodoro sauce on top it would have been a whole lot better. As to my Fettuccine Alfredo it didn’t fare any better than Debra’s did, mine was also suffering from an Alfredo sauce shortage.
It’s not that the meals were bad, it’s just in hindsight we wished we had requested additional Marsala wine sauce, Pomodoro and Alfredo sauce. In the past we’ve always enjoyed our meals at Ricatoni’s and have never went away hungry. The portions are reasonable sized for the price and the service was good.
The Brown Bag Review recommends you give Ricatoni’s a try if you like Italian dishes. We think you’ll enjoy it, but don’t be like us and not fail to ordered extra sauces when needed.