Quattro Gatti on Congress near Little City
Walked by Quattro Gatti a new Italian place that we'd written about on an old Hardhat Report ages ago. They're now open.
How was the chow?
908 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701
We tried Quattro Gatti last night (2/15) and it was excellent. I had veal marsala and my husband had bass from the west coast of Greece. Both were incredibly delicious. The ambiance was lovely - quiet and romantic. The menu has a lot to offer - you can have a fine meal or come in for pizza and sides. The bread is rustic and very flavorful, made by one of the owners. The owners were delightful - a father-son team (apparently with another restaurant in NYC) who both came by to visit our table. My only complaint was that a side of spinach and garlic had too much salt (otherwise it was very flavorful - just didn't need the salt!). The desserts were also very good - I had a berry torte that was amazing. Service was impeccable. Can't wait to go back.
We stopped in here the other night and I have to say, I was not even remotely impressed. The place was empty, only two other tables at 8PM. Granted, it was a Sunday, but still, not that many places are open on Sunday so usually when I go out, there's a fairly sizable crowd.
The dining room was noticeably quiet as there was no music. The only thing we could hear was the kitchen radio set to some 80s stuff.
When I opened the menu, I was kind of shocked at the prices. The pasta dishes averaged around $18, while the entrees around $28. We ordered an appetizer (carpaccio), soup (they did split the bowl for us, and I didn't see a charge for that), and two pasta dishes. We were nonplussed by all of it. Well, the carpaccio was fine, but it's hard to mess that up. The soup (a white bean and escarole) lacked any punch whatsoever. Even just a little salt would have helped (fixed by me). There was salt on every table, thank God. However, it would have been nicer to have sea salt grinders rather than table salt for a nice finish.
The pasta (one had peas, sundried tomato and mushrooms) was just dry. It had absolutely no flavor to it. My BF added salt and it made it at least edible. I had the seafood pasta and while the mussels and clams were well cooked, the fish (assorted seafood?) and the rock shrimp were both mealy and bland.
The bread tasted a bit old and was served cold. I think a little heat on it would have made it pretty good. The olive oil served with it had garlic and something else, and wasn't bad, but honestly, we both ended up salting it a bit.
At this point, we decided to skip dessert since we were very underwhelmed. We also didn't have wine since we had been overserved the night before. Service was fine, but with only us in the place, I think they could have observed that we hadn't finished a course yet and waited to bring us the next one rather than letting things stack up on a smallish table. Our total before tip was $75 and honestly I didn't feel like this was much above the Olive Garden.
Maybe we ordered wrong or something, but at these prices, I'm not willing to take a risk to find out a second time.
If you are from Italy or at least know and love how real italian food taste, you need to come here: I was born and raised in Italy and after 2 years FINALLY I had a real genuine italian meal...the pizza is made in the brick oven ..with the right char, with the right and original ingredients,....the appetizers so good ..and the BREAD oh my! what a feast for your palate...We will go back as soon as possible :)
We had a wonderful meal here recently. I tried the Rigatoni della Nona and my husband had the risotto, and they were both delicious, and better than what I've had at Enoteca. I think it's on par with Asti (I've had some good, some bad meals there.) The bread was house-made and some of the best bread I've had in Austin. A great experience and I'd definitely go back.
1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704