Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Eating up the Hill: Lunch at Mamma Teresa Ristorante

At Sommerset and O'Connor, Mamma Teresa Ristorante is well outside the usual boundary I employ for Hill-adjacent restaurants for review on this blog. However, given that this is a storied Ottawa political hangout, when a friend suggested lunch there last week I had to make an exception.

The wall of political head shots at Mamma Teresa's certainly is Liberal-heavy, as this has been known as more of a Liberal hangout among the older set (didn't see any millennials during my visit), but there were plenty of Conservatives and even a few NDP pics too, so clearly they serve non-partisan pasta.

The restaurant is in a converted house and is divided into a few different rooms. It wasn't overly busy as we were showed to a table for a Friday lunch. It was a quiet atmosphere, conducive to conversation. The complementary bread was an unimpressive roll. Beware: the bottle of balsamic vinegar flows pretty freely, throwing off my ratio with the olive oil.

Examining the menu, I opted for the combination plate of Vitello Parmigiana, Cannelloni & Tortellini Giuliano. This came with a choice of soup or chef's salad, and coffee or tea, for $20.95.

I opted for the chef's salad, as the soup was something tomato-ish and, as mentioned previously, I'm not a fan of such soups. The salad consisted of mixed greens, red and yellow peppers, and tomato. It was topped with fresh pepper to taste, and much too much dressing. Should have gotten it on the side. Size was fine, but I didn't finish it as it became just too dressing-drenched at the end.

But on to the entree. The veal parm was sauced and cheesed well, but could have been more moist. The tortellini was, well, tortellini. What do you want? It was tortellini in a cream sauce. It was fine. But I could have done the same for maybe $2. I did quite like the cannelloni. Paste cooked well, cheese stuffing flavourful and creamy.

Overall, I left full and satisfied. It was a lot of food for $20 and I didn't need dinner that night. Still, it's more than I like to spend on lunch and is rather out of the way. I'd go back if it was a group occasion of some sort, but it won't be on my regular lunching list.

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