E's been talking up Rino's Place for months. We all have high expectations when we finally gather up a group and go for dinner.
The restaurant is small and intimate... wooden floors and chairs, white tablecloths, and painted murals across one wall. Short, curvy waitresses pick up plates of pasta at the pass and barrel up and down the middle of the room.
The wait for the four of us will be an hour, so we opt for takeout. I order one of the specials, the sauteed chicken with asparagus, wild mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and Rino's homemade pasta.
Thirty minutes later, our takeout is ready. We have four massive tinfoil containers, and four salads (included with our dinners), and bread and butter... we are overwhelmed by the volume of food. My pasta could easily feed two... maybe three people.
What's impressive about the pasta is the unusual shape (long, twisty pieces), and the pieces of chicken are plump and juicy. But the whole thing is coated in a cream sauce... a sort of bland and very beige cream sauce. I guess I should have known. Or I should have asked. But I don't like being surprised by cream sauces. Giving the takeout menu a second look, I see that it's dominated by cream sauces.
I steal a bite of E's Melanzane Parmiggiano (eggplant parmesan). The marinara sauce is so savory and well seasoned... so I'm not giving up on Rino's yet. But next time, I'm ordering an appetizer.