I don’t know how many times I drove past Sangiovese before finally deciding to give it a try. I’m not sure I even knew how to pronounce it. I finally made time to see what this north side restaurant had to offer.
The Bottom line:
Despite what I would consider a few small shortcomings, I would recommend Sangiovese to anyone in search of an affordably-priced Italian meal in a nice, comfortable setting. It’s not the best Italian food I’ve ever had, but worth checking out.
The Full Sangiovese Ristorante Review…
Exterior Shot of Sangiovese Ristorante
I went on a Wednesday with my dinner companion, Carla. Though there were very few people in the restaurant, I’ve heard this place can get busy on Fridays and Saturdays, so you may need a reservation, especially during prime dining hours.
It’s a classy place whose decorum grabs you immediately upon entering. A colorful bouquet of flowers rests upon an oaken barrel near the host/hostess stand. The distressed, stucco walls exude a real southern Mediterranean flare.
The entry way opens to a dimly lit dining area. Cool, decorative lighting fixtures hang overhead, and a grand piano even sits in the corner (hidden in this view).
The main dining area opens into a second room that features cool artwork and nice, wood trim accents and crown molding.
We sat outside, in a nice patio dining area that overlooks a large, natural body of water. We appreciated the fact that it was a covered patio and also the fact that it is naturally shielded from the parking lot in virtue of its location behind the restaurant.
For an appetizer, we chose the Brucchetta, which comes on a toasted Tuscan bread with a communal serving of marinated tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil. I was not at all impressed with this dish. It’s not that it was bad. But it was nothing special. The chopped tomatoes were bland as all get-out and there was not enough fresh basil. On, and the bread was just average.
For a salad I chose the Insalata Greco, which is a romaine leaf lettuce with cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes, kalamata olives and feta cheese. This was a very good, fresh salad with one exception: The “traditional Greek” salad dressing tasted like nothing more than plain oil. It was so devoid of flavor, in fact, that I had to ask my server whether they might have forgotten to put dressing on it. To remedy the situation I asked for a side of the Balsamic Vinaigrette and that salvaged my salad experience.
My dinner companion ordered the Insalata Wedge, which comes with an Iceberg wedge topped with marinated tomatoes, blue cheese dressing and crumbled gorgonzola. She shared a bite with me and it was decent, save for the bland tomatoes. I guess by now I should qualify my remarks by saying that I am somewhat of a tomatoes snob, so anything that tastes remotely close to a Walmart-bought tomato will always get bad marks if I have anything to say about it.
We both chose the house lasagna. (It was a good thing we asked too, because the it was nowhere on the menu due to a printing error.) In a word, it was good. By way of comparison, I would say that it approached the quality of Bravo’s lasagna, although it fell a bit short. (Side note to anyone who’s not tried Bravo’s recipe: Try it.) It comes with a half-half combination of red marinara on one side, and a white cheese sauce on the other side. I thought they did a very good job on the red marinara, and wished it had come with even more. I should mention that the default house recipe does not come with shredded Parmesean. I probably went a little overboard with it, but I am a cheese lover, so there you have it.
Other Sangiovese Photos
A grand piano sits in the corner of the Sangiovese dining area.
A fully-stocked bar is situated to the side of the main dining area.
What you see immediately upon entering the front door of Sangiovese
Reverse angle view of the main Sangiovese dining area.
Sangiovese patio dining area viewed from a different angle
Close-up view of the Sangiovese Ristorante sign
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