Opinions on Trattoria on the Hill - Cleveland
Anyone ever been here? What did you have? How was it? How was the price? Know of other places in little Italy that are better? Could I possibly squeze another question into this thread?
I haven't been there in many many many years but it was always a good American-Italian red-sauce kinda place where the thing to order was the veal parmesan.
I just spent 3 months in Cleveland and I can tell you, from having lived there when I was younger, and then my recent prolonged stay, the best mid-priced Italian restaurant in town (or at least on the East Side) is Marotta's on Lee Road near Cedar. Get the bolegnese if they have it on special -- it may be the best meat sauce I've had in a restaurant outside of Italy.
You know, I took my wife there Saturday evening after seeing the food show at the I-X Center, and sat in the lower level, which looked nice, and wasn't very crowded at all (we made early reservations). The place smelled old and stagnant (like my grandmothers house used to).
First off, the portions were huge! I enjoyed my food, (well cooked, tender calamari to start, then baby bay scallops pesto with zucchini and mushrooms over linguini) but it didn't stand out. On the down side, the pasta was a little overcooked and starchy, and the dish was literally drowning in a pool of olive oil which didn't taste like extra virgin. My wife, as always, had the chicken parm, but was thouroughly disgusted. I don't blame her. The chicken was undercooked and had a slightly fishy flavor, the cheese was sweaty and looked and tasted old. The sauce (their signature tomato basil "trattoria" sauce) tasted like uncooked canned tomatoes with nothing added. This was upsetting, because my wife is a picky eater, and I would much rather she enjoy her meal than me, because i tend to enjoy pretty much everything to some degree.
That being said I don't think this place is worth the price. I would have rather eaten at Carrabba's.