Thursday, September 23, 2010


Address: 418 E 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. 801.539.9999.

Review: My buddy's law firm is across the street from Vinto's. I've passed it a hundred times. Today, I partook.

Vinto is based on an increasingly popular concept: the wood-fired oven pizzeria. It's interior is hip and trendy. My son quite enjoyed the ceiling lights suspended in large white-weaved hollow balls. Yeah, trendy shmendy. You know what's really trendy? Good food, and good pizza in particular.

My buddy Todd and I (we have both lived in Italy) began with pizza. I ordered the margherita (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil).

I actually wanted a prosciutto cotto (pizza with tomatoes, mozz, and cooked ham); but when I asked the waiter if they had prosciutto cotto, he stared blankly for a few seconds before saying, "We have prosciutto." I realized at that point things would not be going well. The margherita was not terribly good. The crust, while light and thin as a good crust should be, was stiff and tough. The tomatoes, while of sufficient quality, were too few. The pizza felt dry. The cheese was good, but nothing special. Additionally, the portion size was small. (Now, Italian style pizza is not about size, it's about quality, but this was small even for an Italian style pizza.)

Todd ordered the tuttabella, i.e., "all things beautiful" (sausage, caramelized onions, sliced tomatoes, garlic, roasted bell peppers, fresh mozzarella).

The sausage (made on site, to Vinto's credit) was the best thing on the pizza. The roasted peppers lacked flavor, and the caramelized onions were lost in the mix. This just didn't work well.

We ended the meal with dessert. I ordered the Vinto Taster, a collection of Vinto's house-made gelati (flavors: coconut, amarena, strawberry, mango, pistachio, chocolate).

Now, when I eat gelato, I expect the flavors to hit me in the face, and then yell, "You like that!? You taste me now!?" Vinto's gelato did nothing of the sort. While creamy and smooth, the tastes were not assertive on the palate. The fruit gelati tasted like milk and sugar with some fruit as an afterthought. The chocolate possessed an odd bitter component (I say odd because I love bitter chocolate) that overtook the taste and made it almost unpleasant. The only gelato that really worked was the coconut. It's mild coconut flavor made me actually desire coconut: a true feat.

And Todd ordered the apple crostata.

(Wow, what a gorgeous presentation.) Having enjoyed a fair number of crostate in my day, I can't say this was one of the better ones. The apples were entirely dry (and I mean dry, like English sitcom dry), and the vanilla gelato lacked a pronounced flavor of vanilla. (Do we see a theme here?) The dough, which should be the star of the show, was just okay.

Rating: 4/10 (5/10 is average)

Vinto on Urbanspoon

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