Piatti in Santa Clara's Rivermark (with Danville & Mill Valley Locations): Consider Yourself Warned
I was thrilled when my boss suggested this place for our staff lunch since our lunch trifecta is usually Round Table, Round Table, and more Round Table.
We started with a round of apps. The melanzane with mozzarella sounded great on the menu but was lackluster. So was the fried calamari (the dipping sauce needed more of a kick). Also tired? The canellini bean salad hardly anyone touched accompanying the pancetta wrapped shrimp.
I chose the Strozzapretti - twisted rope pasta with sausage, cauliflower, in a cream sauce. This sucker was almost completely inedible - it was a mess of bread crumb/Parmesan clumps with a horrible taste. It looked unappetizing as well. My co-worker asked me how my lunch tasted, and I said, "Pretty bad." She said, "It looks it, too." Then she asked another co-worker (who didn't hear us) who ordered the same dish how his was and he said "Pretty good." To each his own I guess. (I'm right though! Do you hear me? Right!!!)
I guess it goes without saying that for $15 (!!!) for this turd of an entree it totally wasn't worth the price. Generally I feel like Piatti should suffer even more in their Yelp ratings given their prices. (I should say that service was good though.)
My Crema Catalana (creme brulee) was better than everything else I tried, but I still wouldn't order it again.
Possible Hopeful Things About Piatti's for the future:
-Nice window-filled room with a fire place for private parties
-Sandwiches ($10 for a portobello sandwich and polenta fries or salad and my co-worker really liked hers)
After my last trip to Piatti I decided I would definitely never go here on my own dime, but since my boss wanted to take us here (and pay), who was I to argue? My tastebuds apparently.
The apps were fine though nothing special. The fried calamari ($10.50) was actually better than I remembered. The app with slices of fresh mozzarella with halved cherry tomatoes and balsamic were good, but who can really fuck up fresh mozz? It was also the somewhat outrageous price of $11.
Since I wasn't paying I had a pomegranate drink ($3.50) with little bits of ginger floating at the bottom. It was good.
Remembering my entree experience from last time I tried to pick the safest thing on the menu - the thing they were least likely to fuck up. I went with the spinach and ricotta ravioli ($15.50) which was recommended by someone on Yelp. Piatti, I congratulate you because you were still able to fuck it up. The "lemon cream and citrus gremolata" sauce was terrible and overpowered the entire dish. I wondered if it was the same sauce that ruined my Strozzapretti on my previous visit. (Note: do not order anything with a cream sauce. I repeat, do not order anything with a cream sauce.)
The pasta at lunch runs up to $19. For prices that high the quality needs to be much, much better. Not surprisingly, the place was totally empty by 1:15 on a weekday. I also didn't hear anyone in my group rave about their entrees. At Piatti the best thing continues to be the free bread.
Piatti Ristorante Bar
3905 Rivermark Plz, Santa Clara, CA 95054
The one thing I remember from going to Piatti in Sonoma (now extinct) and Mill Valley (pre-recent reopening) is that they vary greatly from place to place. I always liked the Sonoma one and never liked the Mill Valley one. Has anyone been to the Mill Valley one since the reopening?