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Sep 29, 2007 06:04 PM

Review of Trattoria Delia - Burlington, VT

We went to this restaurant on the recommendation of friends and folks here on CH. This dinner was, hands down, the best restaurant meal I've ever had. If you're in the Burlington VT area, RUN to this restaurant and eat there. If you're not in the area, DRIVE here and go to this restaurant. ;)

Ok, so maybe those of you who live in places where fantastic food is de riguer might not feel the same way about it, but I'm hardly an unschooled country girl when it comes to foodie things, and this place just blew us both away.

Now for the details. :) First, their web menu: This is a bit out of date, and the prices aren't quite accurate. They have some new things on their menu (like the ravioli we had) as well, and of course this doesn't reflect the daily specials.

We arrived a minute or two early for our 5PM reservation (they open at 5). The service was impeccable. The hostess didn't have to find our name in the reservations book, she knew it when I said it. She knew where our table was without having to consult a chart, and she checked it to make sure it was ready before seating us, then took us to it promptly. We had armless chairs (we're both very fat, armless chairs are a blessing) and the table was tucked between some other tables, but the way we were positioned it mostly felt like we were alone, we could see only each other, which was wonderful. The restaurant filled up very very quickly and there was only one table empty through most of our meal, and someone was being seated in that one just as we were leaving. There was a fair amount of noise from the other people around us, but we had no problem with our quiet conversation.

I'd informed them when I made the reservation that it was our anniversary, and after we were seated and had started looking over the menus, someone I believe was a manager brought over two flutes of prosecco and congratulated us on our anniversary, and thanked us for choosing to spend it with them. I'd never had prosecco before (and neither of us drink anything at all, not even wine, usually. Though I do like white wine on occasion, it's seldom worth buying it for just me, and it means I can't drive, so I just don't have it), so I can't say if it was a superior prosecco, but I liked it more than I usually like wines. :) It was a very nice touch, and I thought it very kind of them to give us such a treat. Even my husband drank all of his, and he -never- drinks wine.

The brought out warm, rustic italian bread, crusty and hearty, with herbed garlic butter that was plenty soft enough to spread on the warm bread. There were packages of very thin breadsticks, as well. I opened one more out of curiosity, and was impressed that not one of the breadsticks was broken. :) They were so fine and fragile, that seemed to be quite a feat to me. :


We ordered carpaccio (9.00) and antipasti misti ($10.50) for starters and shared them. The carpaccio had lemon and olive oil, as well as shaved grana padano cheese, and fresh arugula. It was just delightful. The cheese was fantastic and the arugula was perfectly fresh and crisp. The flavours blended wonderfully. The antipasti was fabulous, as well. Lovely, meaty olives that were well-cured, stunningly well-roasted peppers, proscuitto and salami, their own fresh mozzarella, aged provolone... just great all the way down.

For primi we shared Gnocchi alla Gioverde ($14 I think, I can't remember for sure) and Ravioli di Zucca ($13.50 I think, I didn't memorize the prices on these). The gnocchi were light, and its tomato basil sauce wasn't overpowering at all. There was a generous sprinkling of parmesan over the top, as well. The ravioli was stuffed with pumpkin and ricotta cheese, topped with a cheese (I can't remember the name of the cheese she told me it was, started with a "t") and cream sauce, with tender duck confit scattered over the top. Both of these dishes were cooked to perfection, brought out at exactly the right moment for not being too hot to eat for too long, and tasted wonderful. They were simple, easy to understand dishes with good combinations that complemented each other.

We asked for and were promptly brought a second basket of bread to sop up the wonderful sauces from these dishes, and we were not charged extra for this (sometimes, some places will do that, bastages! ;).

For secundi we shared the Saltimbocca di Vitello ($19.50), and I decided to try it with the wine they suggested be paired with it, Terradora di Paolo Fiano di Avellino. When we ordered it, we told them we'd be sharing it, so they split it into two plates for us, but there was so much food on the plates that I looked at the man who brought it out and said "This is a shared order? Right?" He assured me it was. I was pleased that they'd split it onto two plates for us, no fumbling around trying to divide it up onto smaller plates from a larger one.

My husband adores veal, and so rarely gets it, and he was overcome with happiness on the first bite. It was tender and tasty, with a wonderful white wine butter sauce that in no way overpowered it. The proscuitto was lightly browned on top of the veal, and the whole thing was very very delicately floured before being cooked. I have -never- had such good saltimbocca, ever, anywhere. It was served with some carrots that had been marinated in white wine, though it tasted like there might have been something more in the marinade, then fried to just soft, not mushy. Also some lovely brocolli, perfectly steamed.

I liked the wine, and realized that I really do enjoy a nice white wine now and then. My husband drove us home, just to be on the safe side, though. :) I can be something of a lightweight though tonight I didn't feel at all tipsy like I normally would after two glasses of wine. I couldn't finish my portion of saltimbocca and it's sitting in a container in the fridge, waiting to delight me once again, though I know it won't be the same as leftovers. :)

Our waitress was attentive without being in the least bit intrusive. Our starters were brought to us by one of the owners (though I didn't know that's what she was at the time), and the other plates were brought by a man who looked like he might be working in the kitchen in some capacity, as he wasn't waiting on tables, exactly. Everyone was just wonderful. As we were leaving, we were thanked several times on the way out, in a way that might have seemed excessive, if they hadn't all seemed so genuine about having been happy to serve us. The staff all seemed very knowledgeable about the food, and the waitress knew the specials cold, without a cheat sheet (something that always impresses me for some reason).

Our entire bill, including the single glass of wine (we otherwise drank water with lemon) was around $87 (before tip).

I now have a new favourite restaurant. This has been a very very lovely day. :) It's been about three hours and I'm STILL stuffed. :)

Oh, and I have the best husband in the world! So There! ;)

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      1. re: Blumie


        Thank you for your glorious review! Trattoria Delia is heaven on earth... and I use to work there. Actually, working there made me MORE impressed with the restaurant. It's a culinary gem. I think it could compete with any high-end establishment anywhere.

        It's amazing how time just melts away when you are there. How dinner is so intimate, even when there are other diners all around you. And how you can eat and eat and eat and eat, and never feel overstuffed. Just happy. It's the best place in the world.

        Much of the staff has been there for years... everyone that works there is top-notch. The food is always fresh, simply prepared, and utterly divine. I could gush on and on about this wonderful restaurant for hours. Thanks for sharing your experience... hopefully others who are reading and have never checked it out will stop by for a visit!

        1. re: katiepie

          We'll be in Shelburne next month. Your review has piqued my interest so now I will have to make time to have dinner there. Thanks very much!

          1. re: katiepie

            Hi there katiepie,

            Your post was a few years ago, but I thought I'd give it a try to ask you a question. I'm considering applying for a job at Trattoria Delia, and I was wondering if you could let me know how working there was. My family is Italian, and I've always wanted to work at an authentic Italian restaurant. I have a fairly well paying part time job now, but it's sort of stealing my soul... There is no room for creativity or anything. It's not a career - I'm still in school. I just don't know if I can handle it anymore! What I'm wondering is how they pay at Trattoria Delia (if you don't mind my asking of course!). Right now I'm making roughly 420-450 every pay check (paid every other week). It's working out, but I can't make any less then that. If you don't mind, please feel free to email me and let me know!



        2. The food at Trattoria Delia is superb.

          There is one thing potential first-time diners there need to know, however: the restaurant has very subdued lighting thoughout. My wife is visually impaired, and this restaurant is impossible for her, because the lighting is so low, it's very dark in there. While people with normal vision will have no problem (and likely find the low lighting 'romantic' in nature), it's pretty tough for some who see fine in well-lit places, but struggle with the 'candlelight' dining concept.

          2 Replies
          1. re: signothetimes53

            Just a suggestion, but I imagine this can be offset by going for the first seating for dinner, instead of later in the evening. They have shutters over the windows, but the last two at the end are left open, so there was a flood of sunlight coming in while we were eating there Saturday. It wasn't dark at all where we were sitting, though it certainly was further in.

            1. re: Morganna

              That would work once the shutters were open for purposes of seeing the table. However, getting to the table would be a problem. The doorway entrance is very very dark even to normal-sighted persons, and the walkway to the table is narrow and dark, too. Believe me, I'd like to take my wife there, but it's simply too dangerous for her, she's afraid of tripping on a step, or a table or chair leg, and hurting herself (she's a Type 1 diabetic, so minor cuts or wounds to the lower extremities that you and I wouldn't think twice about are serious issues for her). What we would perceive as "twilight" or "dusk" she perceives as near-total darkness.

          2. Nice review. We have eaten there several times and have had excellent meals on all visits. My one and only issue was involved trying to order our food in stages and were told we couldn't. I have not seen that server there since that night. This is a great place to expand your wine experiences (especially if you like Italian wine as that is all they serve !).

            2 Replies
            1. re: TonyO

              Hi Morganna,
              Thank you for the review, Trat is my favorite romantic restaurant hands down! If you ever make it back, be sure to save room for their tiramisu. I am not really a dessert person, but this is by far the best dessert I've EVER had in a restaurant! :-))

              So glad you had such a great time!

              1. re: Addisonchef

                Much as I'd love to try it, I'd have to give that a pass. I don't get along with caffeine at all, I'm afraid, and my husband can't stand espresso or coffee. :) Though I'll be very happy to try the other things in the offing and hope to have a few more meals there when we're up! (we live an hour away from Burlington, but we do go up once a month, however, we're seldom up there in the evenings, we usually have lunches up there). :)

            2. This review has convinced me to try Trattoria Delia for my birthday next week - it sounds amazing! My boyfriend and I love to share our dishes as well, so I'm glad to see that the menu lent itself well to that. Gotta save room for the tiramisu, though it sounds like it'll be hard to do!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Raedia

                Woo hoo! Be sure you let us know what you think! :)

                1. re: Morganna

                  Time to report back - dinner at Trattoria Delia was fantastic! From the decor, it seemed like they ought to be serving lager and schnitzel, but we liked the low light and romantic vibe. The herbed butter for the bread was lovely, and we enjoyed sharing the antipasti misti and perfectly fried calamari (although Starry Night's curry dipping sauce is more exciting than the tomato basil sauce we had here). The highlight for me was the Tortellini de Zucca that we shared: "Fresh tortellini stuffed with pumpkin, ricotta cheese and almonds, in a sauce of Taleggio and sweet Vermont cream, topped with our housemade batù, duck confit." TO DIE FOR!! The slight bit of sweetness from the pumpkin was an amazing contrast with the salty and unctuous duck topping.

                  As it was my birthday, I had to have the tiramisu - which was quite a generous portion! It was delicious, but I'm glad I had help finishing it. Limoncello on the house was a refreshing end to the meal.

                  Thanks, Morganna, for your recommendation!

                  1. re: Raedia

                    It's not even 9 a.m. and you're making me hungry! So glad you had a delicious meal. I haven't been in over a year, and every meal has been memorable. I've gotta get back there! :))

                    1. re: Raedia

                      ooh I loved that too, only they had ravioli instead of tortellini the night we were there, but it was still wonderful. The duck just was soooo perfect with it. :) I'm glad you had a great experience.

                2. After all these wonderful reports I just have to go there some time soon. I'm just embarrassed I've never been before and have been missing out on a gem! Thanks for all the comments.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Jayne in VT

                    Make sure you call for a reservation. I had dinner there Thursday night and they were packed. The filet with Barolo reduction and Osso Bucco were excellent as always. Truly one of, if not the best restaurant in this area. Tonight we are going to Smokejacks and I will report on CH.