So, had lunch there today. I've never eaten at the downtown location, so won't be able to compare the two. This is my first trip so also not much depth is possible.
When seated (promptly) we were brought a basket of pretty good bread, at least it suited my taste, but there was only one kind, I prefer a selection. Olive oil tasty, though I am no connoisseur - but I was surprised it had as much flavor as it did for the color it was. No parm on table.
(Though they came w/fresh parm for entrees.) I took a long time for our server to get our order, but there were quite a few large tables seated so I can overlook that.
There was a fabulous-sounding special, which they were out of - I nearly wept - round ravioli stuffed with duck w/some kind of Grand Marnier association, carmalized onions and wild mushrooms w/fresh herbs and a cognac/brown butter sauce. Paraphrasing so I might not have gotten it all perfectly but you get the drift. Priced only $8.95, alas we will never know if it lived up to it's billing. At least the server knew they were out and saved me further agony. Replaced my order with (don't shoot!) Veal Piccata. (It's a weakness of mine.)
The first piece of veal I put in my mouth was almost inedible it was so tough, though it tasted fine. As I progressed through the slices some were tough and some tender, WTF? The sauce was delicious, perfect consistency, lovely lemony with lots of nice-sized capers. It was served with an angel-hair pasta with a simple garlic/olive oil treatment, which was a nice complement to the veal, though it was just pretty good, not fabulous.
Co-worker (here from SLC and in my experience not a very picky eater) had Fettucine Alfredo, which she said "tasted like they forgot an ingredient." Not enough garlic?, I asked. "Yes! That's it!." Now, to me any restaurant that has the word "Pasta" in it's name should have that one down.
Side note: (who does this, esp. BEFORE an Italian meal?) co-worker ordered hot chocolate, I was amazed, they had it. Server asked if she wanted whipped cream, which I thought a nice touch, and the presentation was very nice in a glass mug with dark chocolate syrup drizzled lightly on the whipped cream.
Our server was friendly enough at the table, but she wasn't there very often. By the time we were eating the crowd had thinned out considerably, but at no point did she return to ask how everything was or to replenish water glasses.
Kristina was expensing so I didn't see the final bill, my veal was $10.95 (very generous portion) and I think her fettucine was a couple bucks less, maybe more that that.
With the dearth of independent restaurants in this area I will return, no doubt, though the next time will probably determine whether I will continue to do so.
Still lamenting not getting to try that ravioli, but if they have great-sounding specials like that all the time, I think definitely worth checking out again.
I think it was TAsunder who had the awful stories about about bugs, etc., at the downtown one? Nothing like that in evidence, though I admit I was a little leery of taking Kristina there knowing the history!
Bottom line: Give'em a chance, we need more local restos out here.