The ‘Venice’ of Lowell?

First, Foodie has blessed me with the privilege of guest blogging from time to time.  Be gentle with this one, as it is my first review.  They will improve, how could they not?  On to the restaurant…

Not too far from the ‘famous’ canals of Lowell (there is a sign that proclaims Lowell the ‘Venice of America’, Foodie, Jr kids you not) sits this little italian restaurant.  We tried it out on a recent Saturday night and found the food to be good, the wine to be reasonably priced, and the service to be on the slow side.

We had reservations for 8:30.  We arrived a couple of minutes early, were greeted by the owner, and showed to our table without delay.  It appeared that they filled a few tables at the same time, and with in our waiter’s section.  He came to the table right away, but the water, bread, and drinks. He was attentive throughout the night.  Overall the service seemed to just be set at a  more leisurely pace.  Ricardo’s is not the restaurant for a quick meal out.

The menu, which you can link to here Menu, was reasonably sized.  It seemed to cover the basic italian fare.  The portions for the meals we had were on the size.  We had an appetizer of field greens with roasted pumpkin and gorgonzola cheese.  It had a very light, oil-based dressing.  It was ordered out of curiosity, someone had to see what roasted pumpkin was like.  It was, delicious.  The flavors were very complementary.  The other appetizer we tried was a shaved steak pizza.  Once more, it was tastefully done.  A minor complaint was the leaning tower of field greens that covered at least a third of the pie.  Both appetizers were larger enough to be shared.

For the entree, we had two meals, both specials for that night.  One was a haddock over a scallop risotto.  The sauce that was over it was a nice, well, not really memorable.  Seemed like a great idea that fell a little short. (we have had seafood risotto in Venice and it was fantastic.  Wait, that was in Italy, not the Venice of America, forgot) The other was a bolognese sauce over tube noodles that started with an f.  Hey, I had knee surgery two days after and have been ‘under the influence’, give me a break.  Whatever the noodle was, the meal was good.  Hearty, full of flavor, and reminds you of grandma’s bolognese, assuming grandma was second generation Italian.  You know, very good, something you could definitely have again, but not off the boat

We had a nice bottle of italian that ran about 35 dollars.  It was smooth and went well with the meals.  It was probably overpriced, but isn’t all wine at a restaurant?

Overall, we had a nice, slow-paced meal with good conversation.  Is it destined for Italian greatness?  Probably not.  Is it a good place to spend a leisurely dinner, absolutely.  Remember, Ricardo’s is not in Venice, Italy, just the ‘Venice of America’.

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