As a regular reader of my column, you know it’s no secret I love Italian food. This week I tried a new Italian restaurant. This little gem was tucked away in the back of a plaza and, to be honest, keeping it hidden would serve my best interest.
Once people try Chef Marc’s Trattoria (8615 W. Sahara Ave.) this place will become very popular. As soon as I walked in you could smell the aroma of the different dishes being prepared in the kitchen. I stopped in after work about 8 p.m. on a Thursday so the place wasn’t real busy.
My waiter’s name was Donny; he was very friendly and helpful. His knowledge of the entire menu and preparation of the dishes was impressive. I decided to start with an order of Italian Chicken Soup with Escarole.
I asked Donny if this was their version of “wedding soup” and he smiled and said I must be from back East. I said, yes, Pittsburgh, how did you know? He said he was from Youngstown, Ohio and more people from back east call it wedding soup than people out here. He said the only difference would be their chicken soup didn’t have the little meatballs in it. The soup was a nice start to the meal.
I was in the mood for veal and he mentioned two dishes he liked. One was the Veal Crimini, which was veal with smoked pancetta, mushrooms and a cognac cream sauce. The other was the Veal Involtini, which was pounded veal that was rolled with prosciutto, and provolone cheese inside, served with spinach and artichokes in a Marsala sauce.
I absolutely loved this dish, as the combination of the veal with the saltiness of the prosciutto in the rich sauce was so good together. This is a must try on the menu and I guarantee will be a repeat for me.
They served two different breads in their breadbasket. One was focaccia that was baked and had sauce and a little bit of cheese on it. This was very tasty and brought back some memories of bread I use to have growing up. I would call it pizza bread as a kid and it was even better dipping it in the sauce of my veal dish.
Chef Marc’s Trattoria offers a diverse menu ranging from simple Italian favorites to some very unique creations. There is one section of the menu that offers pasta dishes from various parts of Italy that Chef Marc brought back from his trips there.
Each of these dishes lists the city in which the recipe was from. I will be back very soon to try some of these creations, as it will be like a little trip to Italy only a lot less expensive.
The wait staff was very friendly and attentive. Chef Marc came by to ask me how my meal was. It is always a nice touch to see the owner/chef be so hands on with his clients. One, it makes you, the customer, feel appreciated and, two, it lets you see the true passion of the chef and what he is trying to do, which makes your meal that much better.
I give Chef Marc’s Trattoria a rating of 3.75 Forks.