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bad meal at gratzi ann arbor

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Took an out of town guest to Gratzi in Ann Arbor at her request last night.I haven't eaten there in many years, having found the food to be mediocre in the past. But even I was surprised at the poor quality of our meals. My guest ordered a gnocchi with shrimp, bacon and tomato that was inedible - tough gnocchi, flavorless watery shrimp, but worst of all, the dish tasted like it was doused in liquid smoke. I got the risotto special and not only did it arrive looking like a plate of mush with a few scallops on top, it was too salty to eat. My partner ordered the chingale stew -sauced pasta and what arrived was a ground pork - sauced pasta with very little meat.

Has anyone gotten a decent meal here lately or is this a common experience? And while we are on the subject of Italian in AA, is there anywhere to get a really good Itaiian meal in this town or should one stick to the northwest suburbs (Cafe Cortina, Il Posto etc)? Thanks.

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  1. Il Posto is at least temporarily closed. One of the former chefs is cooking Italian food at his Mexican restaurant in southwest Detroit, El Barzón. It's quite good.

    I've had similar experiences at Gratzi. The antipasti and other appetizers can be pretty good, but the entrees are usually disappointing.

    My pick is Paesano's, but stick with pasta, salads, and "country" Italian dishes like stews--meat and fish entrees are not so hot. There's an opening for a really solid midprice Italian place in AA.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jim M

      I'll second the Paesano's pick. And Jim nailed it with the pasta, salad & "country dishes recommendation.

      1. re: Jim M

        Paesano's or Bella Ciao for me in AA. As Jim mentioned Il Posto is closed but its rockin cousin Bacco just a few doors down is still open and would easily be my first pick. If you are willing to drive to Rochester I'd throw Lino's at 26 & Rochester Road out as an option but much closer is Ernesto's in Plymouth

        http://www.baccoristorante.com/