Villa Sorriso in Pasadena

I’ve wanted to try Villa Sorriso for a long time and last night was the night.  I love the ambiance of the restaurant and the location in Pasadena.  My friends and I had crab cakes and calamari for appetizers.  The calamari was good, crispy, and not soggy.  The crab cakes had corn which i’m not the biggest fan of but it was tasty.

I ordered the osso buco.  First of all, I LOVE osso buco.  I don’t like the idea of eating veal (I feel bad that the calf didn’t live very long).  However, osso buco is my weakness.  I had it in Ramatuelle, France for the first time and it was delicious.  I also had it at Mi Piace in Pasadena, and it was divine.  As far as Villa Sorriso, I did like the flavor of the sauce, however, it was a little chewy for me 😦  Nothing is better than when meat dissolves with a bite.  I found myself taking lots of bites. I might try a pasta dish next time.

I did try two other dishes from two other plates at the table.  Michael had Cioppino.   Cioppino is a fish stew that originated in San Francisco. Not Italy?  It is considered an Italian dish, due to Northern Italians coming up with the recipe after settling in San Fran, and it is only slightly comparable with various regional fish soups and stews of Italian cuisine. Cioppino is traditionally made from the catch of the day, which in the dish’s place of origin is typically a combination of dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, and mussels. The seafood is combined with fresh tomatoes in a wine sauce, and served with toasted bread.  According to sources you can compare it to cacciucco and brodetto from Italy. In Genoa (where the fisherman where from) this stew was made in the same fashion, with the local catch of the day. Cioppino belongs to the same tradition as chowder and bouillabaise.  Come to think of it, I never came across it in the couple times I’ve been to Italy and that’s with years between the trips, unless it’s around more in the past couple years that I haven’t there for.  This Cioppino was actually tasty with tender dungeness crab.  It was lighter in spices than our Cioppino dishes I have had.  I would order this if i was in stew mood.

Kimberle had fettuccine alfredo with shrimp.  Also, light in flavor.  When I think of my favorite Italian sauces and stews, I think strong and aromatic flavors.   Unfortunately, I felt there was a low dose of pizzazz in these dishes.  We were also confused with the cups of what looked like watered down pico de gallo that came with our bread.

As far as drinks, i do love their drinks.  My friends and I came to the club part of Villa Sorriso for my bachelorette night and the drinks were well made.

Atmosphere: A

Food: C+


Service: A

Location: A


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