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Trattoria D.O.C. (pizza and Italian) in Evanston

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Jesster Sep 20, 2006 12:37 AM

This location and variation of Pizzaria DOC has been open 4-5 months now and the verdict is still out. It is conveniently located a block from the Main Street "L".

We never been to the original location so can't compare, but the pizza we tried here was pretty good: "Silvio e Gabriele" (tomato, mozzerella, arugula, prosciutto and Parmesan.) Less good (especially for sharing) the Quattro Stagioni since each ingredient came in it's own "section" (slice or two.) Crusts were crispy and cracker-like (at least upon arrival.)

However we (and it appears, many other diners)have focussed on the other(Italian offerings)which can be hit or miss. I happen to LOVE the divine Risotto al Frutti di Mare - but the Risotto al Porcini Freschi (while tasty) was too boring for a main dish (it would work better as a side dish) and only cost about $1.75 less than the seafood laden version (note: both are quite rich and served a la carte - salads are extra - a lot $$ extra (the least expensive is $6.25.) Avoid the very uninteresting Pappardelle (with duck in a red-wine herb sauce.)

We enjoyed the (enough for 2) Calamari served either fried or grilled with some greens. If you ask your waiter for a wine recommendation - be sure to ask about the the price too - we were significantly "upgraded" price-wise when we inquired about a certain wine.

Service has improved since it first opened (about 3+ months ago) when it was uniformly awful. It can still be haphazard - and the large room quite noisy. Still it's worth a try and hopefully the kinks in service and food will be worked out. Diners at neighboring tables have recommended Petto di Pollo alla Sarda (Chix breats rolled w/ asparagus, scarmoza and pancetta in port wine sauce.) They also serve a few veal and fish dishes (salmon and Tilapia.) But pizzas dominate the menu.

Lunch menu is basically the same as dinner (price-wise too) except that they offer a handful of Panini/sandwiches - all in the $8- $11 range.

They are located at 706 Main Street (Evanston) 847/475-1111 or visit www.Trattoria-DOC.com - open 7 days from noon to 10:30pm. We'll go back - it's worth a try if you are in the area.

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    sbethp RE: Jesster Oct 10, 2006 03:20 AM

    Dined there this weekend and was not impressed. Unfortunately, did not read the previous post beforehand and ordered the porcini risotto, which I agree was good but not great. My husband ordered a pizza (mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, olives). Crust may have arrived at the table crisp, but by the time I tried it not long after he cut into it, it was downright soggy.

    Our biggest disappointment though was with the service. We waited probably 20 minutes for our salad. During our wait, I couldn't help but notice (the tables are very close together) that the people at the table next to us were finished with their entrees for at least 10 minutes before their plates were bussed. The diners 2 tables over from us (same wait person) ordered at least 5 minutes after we did and received their appetizers and entrees before we did. When our entrees did come, my risotto was brought out a couple of minutes before my husband's pizza--not a big deal, but just sort of sloppy; no reason they couldn't have waited 2 more minutes and brought them out at the same time. And because the room is so crowded, the wait staff kept bumping into each other--and into my husband a few times as well. Overall, a disappointing experience.

    1. j
      Jesster RE: Jesster Oct 11, 2006 07:42 PM

      Sorry I should have done an update. On our most recent visit (3 strikes and you're out?) The service had not improved - at least our server was a disaster! She just disappeared after taking our order. We finally flagged down a confused bus boy - and ultimately a regional manager who was just visiting ended up waiting our table. Later we saw our waitress crying. We found ourselves imploring the manager not to fire her, please give her another chance, etc. The whole experience was so unpleasant I don't even remember what we ordered!

      I'd still like to go back for the Seafood Risotto - maybe for an expensive lunch? Has anyone else tried this place?

      We can find much better pizza at Candlelite Chicago on Western Ave. just south of Howard. Go on Tuesday nights for half price pizza - it's a good deal and so far our thin crust pizzas have always arrived crispy and not soggy. They also do pretty good burgers and salads - and their Garlic Fries are amazing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jesster
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        germuska RE: Jesster Oct 13, 2006 02:14 PM

        Actually, just last Sunday, my previously extremely high esteem for the garlic fries at Candlelite came crashing down.

        For starters, they've switched to shoestring fries, which I think are too thin to bear the "sauce" -- there was always a risk of getting overly soggy G-fries, but it seems inevitable with the thinner gauge product. Worse, yet, they came lukewarm. I think part of the problem might have been the kitchen staff, because my medium burger was all the way to well done (still tasty and not dried out, but not what I ordered) and my friend's Brat had sat under the warmer long enough that the mustard got crusty. (We had a simple order, too -- three burgers and a brat, how hard is that? Not too crowded either...)

        Anyway, whether or not the kitchen staff were the first stringers, I'm afraid the shoestrings bode ill for the future of G-fries at Candlelite. I'll give 'em another chance, but that just means I'll be that much more bummed if they've really screwed 'em up...

        word is that the pizza crust has changed too, but I can't speak to that. See http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.... for that thread.

      2. n
        nu_sue RE: Jesster Oct 13, 2006 08:58 PM

        Ashame to hear about the Garlic fries

        1. j
          Jesster RE: Jesster Oct 13, 2006 11:36 PM

          Thank you so much Germuska for the update and the very informative link to lthforum.com thread. If the joys of Candlelite have been relegated to the dustheap of failed restaurants - that would be a real shame indeed.

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