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Aug 19, 2005 01:48 PM

a few NOtes about fioretto trattoria

  • t

i know that initially there were YAY! raves and raves about FIORETTO TRATTORIA in culver city here at chowhound, then a few dissenting NAY opinions. just wanted to share a bit about my lunch experience there...

in preview, i will say is that i would have to agree with most of the NAYers.

our service was sort of unbalanced, which is okay, as she was the only one serving at lunch. But, she actually didn't appear too confident with what she was doing. She seemed nervous, stressed, harried, etc. and at one point, almost exasperated when i asked about the menu.

we ordered the timballo from the pasta selection onthe regular menu and the branzino from the "specials" menu.

the timballo is made from about fifteen rigatoni, stuffed with smoked chicken, raisins and pine nuts, are placed upright and packed together into a drum shape, sitting in shallow puddle of reddish orange sauce. there is mozzarella cheese is melted over the top, which holds the rigatoni to each other so they don’t fall apart. the only thing I could think of when I saw it in front of me was the way teeny Vienna sausages look, packed into that little pull-top can.

I didn’t like the timballo. The rigatoni were hardand dry, as if they had been reheated in a microwave oven. the smoked chicken tasted as though it had been soaked too long in liquid smoke, completely overpowering everything else. the texture of the filling was so dry that even the red pepper tomato sauce wasn’t enough to moisten it. I only ate about three of the rigatoni and left the rest in the bowl.

timballo didn’t taste good, but the branzino was absolutely terrible. i won't go into the painful details, but it involved blubber, bones, and scales. there were fish bones in every bite, and i even had scales with the single bite that i took!!

i'm sorry to hate on a darling of the chowhounds, because i'm not really hating, but just wanted to share that my meal there was pretty bad.


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  1. "She" meaning Dawn, David's wife?
    If that's the case, here's my $.02 worth:
    a) she should have been there from day 1, and
    b) now it's too late.

    4 Replies
    1. re: RicRios
      the delicious life

      hm, i am not exactly sure who she was.

      too late? whaddya mean? curious...


      1. re: the delicious life

        Bad service from day 1 scared away many customers.
        On top of that, now it's bad food.
        I'm afraid there's no return at this point.

        1. re: RicRios

          I totally agree, I wish him well, he is done. next.

          1. re: Kurt

            Read the above reviews and almost didn't go but then was reminded about the fickle arrogance of so many so called foodies and took a chance.

            Glad I did. David was definately in the kitchen and his food was excellent as it has been each of the last half dozen times I was there.

            Service was "casual" as usual and definately not for the Type A diner.

            Overall Fioretto remains an oasis of the interesting and the unusual at prices that are within reach.

    2. Timballo was inedible? Talk about the last nail in the coffin....

      I've ordered & loved the timballo every time we've Grubbed there. Moist, rich, smoky, in that terrific red pepper sauce. Even that has now apparently gone south.

      Bitter, bitter disappointment. So much potential, so many aspirations, so little execution.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Mr Grub

        Indeed. I had the timballo for lunch no less than 2 months ago and it was really, really great. A special dish.

        With my few Fioretto experiences, I wouldn't be surprised if the very next day Delicious Life went back and had a truly perfect version of the dish with friendly, efficient service. But unfortunately, unless you have a large fortune (or sleeping investors) you don't have long to develop consistency in the food biz.

        Cheers -

        1. re: CulverJack

          I have to disagree at this point. David has lost his passion to present his customers with his best efforts and is highly depressed which is manifesting itself as anger toward the customers. No one was a bigger fan of his cooking but I won't be back. So glad that we were able to have more than a few excellent meals there.

      2. Has anyone ate here recently? Has it got better? Has it got worse?
        I ate at Fioretto Trattoria once shortly after it opened and it was okay, not bad, not great.

        4 Replies
        1. re: mossmoss

          Well, Mossmoss, I am pleased to say that over the last 8 months or so since I have been dining at Fioretto Trattoria, I have been so delighted with the superior quality of their Tuscany cuisine. The menu seems to change every 3 months (seasonally) .I think the pastas & seafood are my favorite items to order. The chef is always "spot on." I have read some negativity about slow service at lunchtime; but I myself, have only dined there at dinnertime. I feel like it is having a taste of Tuscany within driving distance. If you go there, you tastebuds will thank you!

          1. re: foodhappy

            I agree and have been to lunch there at least twice in last six months. It is never busy at lunch and the service is okay, if not polished. I enjoy the pizza too!

            1. re: foodhappy

              I am so happy that David got it together. If you notice the time span from the bad to the good reviews it is just under 2 years. I will have to go by and say hello. Ric Rios and I were probably his biggest fans. Many times that I was there, it was mostly chowhounds. It will be great to have him back again. You have to respect the fact that he pulled himself from the depth of poor food and service and finally achieved great food and service. I can't wait to try it again.

              1. re: Just Larry

                I'm planning on going to Fioretto in the next week or so; we should probably create a new thread for it if indeed the food has improved because it's hard to parse out the current "overall status" (if you will) based on the older replies.

                If someone beats me to it first, they should do the same.