La Bettola Di Terroni is my kind of hole in the wall
By Patricia Noonan
December 9, 2010
The street is quiet, but La Bettola di Terroni is a riot of noise, music and people. Wall-to-wall guests jostle servers between the high top tables, the boxy long bar and regular tables packed so close together they may as well be connected.
We sit at the bar, instead of waiting a half hour and set up shop next to the kitchen to see all the action. It's "the show" of a busy restaurant, often great entertainment.
The menu and wine list slide out our way. It's like being in the Italian version o
f a diner, except you pretty much know that by the items on the menu board, this is completely above anything "diner".
First, a little brown bag with freshly baked Ciabatta buns arrives with olive oil. The menu is enticing, but with plenty of specials, we choose Duck Prosciutto ($16) which also comes with a little rind covered Tomino cheese disc. An easy going Sicilian rose and a glass of Ribolla gialla for my guest, pairs nicely...then it's the most wonderful puffy, steaming presentation of seafood Zeppole ($9), a delicious foil to the sharp, dryness of the wine.
We're both truffle sluts, so seeing a pizza special ($20) with that luscious burrata cheese and truffles has our curiosity stoked. Part of me thinks it's a crime to put burrata on a pizza, but if it's just slightly past its prime to eat fresh, than why not perfect it another way? We're both taken aback to see generous shavings of truffle scattered over the crisply thin pie and dig in. With a glass of fragrant, ruby Montefalco, it's a really fine way to upgrade any kind of pizza in my books.
The Braised Beef stuffed Agnolotti ($17) is our other choice, but it's a little too doughy and the sage butter misses the mark somehow. With only a forlorn, little piece of sage swimming in the butter, it's the only inconsistency of the evening.
Price: $75 with 2 glasses of wine.
Atmosphere: Wildly fun and busy
Wheelchair Access: Yes
Surprise, Surprise: Taped Italian lessons in the washrooms
FIVE STARS: (Extraordinary) A one-of-a-kind, world-class experience.
FOUR STARS: (Excellent) Superior. Memorable, high-quality menus and/or savvy service.
THREE STARS: (Good) Solid places that beckon with generally appealing cooking.
TWO STAR: (Fair) Just OK. A place not worth rushing back to. But, it might have something worth recommending.
ONE STAR: (Poor) Below-average restaurant.
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