Saturday, May 7, 2011

Michelangelo Ristorante

Address: 3005 Highland Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84106. 801.466.0961.

Review: We lived down the road from Michelangelo Ristorante and have driven past it a thousand times. We finally decided to try it out on my wife's birthday.

We began with prosciutto e melone: a classic pairing. The prosciutto was good quality, salty, meaty, thinly sliced. The melon was out of season and, in addition to being a bit tough, had not fully developed its sugar. Because of this, the prosciutto took over and the dish was too salty.

Next came the pasta dishes. I ordered the gnocchi al pesto, another classic dish.

Gnocchi are nothing more than cooked potatoes, flour, egg and salt. A truly good gnoccho is light and feels like a pillow in your mouth. (This might sound a bit far-fetched, but thus is the magic touch of really good gnocchi makers.) In contrast, these gnocchi were dense and bland. The pesto was more cream based than the traditional pesto genovese, and lacked any flavor of pine nuts or parmigiano reggiano, or basil for that matter.

Much the same could be said for the gnocchi al pomodoro.

Amazingly, there was no offer of parmigiano reggiano with this dish (a perfunctory gesture). Not that parm would have saved the dish from the blandness of the sauce, but it would have helped.

My wife had the ravioli filled with spinach.

The ravioli were supposed to be served with a sage and butter sauce, but it inexplicably came served with a sage and cream sauce, with a little bit of butter added. This aside, the ravioli were quality. They possessed that pop of spinach when bitten into. The pasta portion was thin texturally smooth. If the sauce had been what it said it would be, this dish would have been great.

And, because it was the wife's birthday, we ordered some desserts. She got the a cannolo, which was filled with sweetened ricotta, chocolate, and orange zest, and topped with berries.

While the cannolo was properly crunchy (something that doesn't happen often because they're filled hours before eating and become soggy), the flavors in the ricotta were muddled. There was no hint of orange, and the berries did not add much flavor to the dish.

I had the torta di frutta (misspelled torta de fruta on the menu).

This torta is, in reality, a crostata with a lemon cream filling covered in seasonal berries. The crust, which really should be the star of any crostata, was soggy and dense. There was neither flakiness nor flavor present. The filling had almost no lemon flavor to it, and thus was simply a bland creamy, sugary filling. And with no lemon to cut through the fat of the filling and contrast with the berries, there just wasn't much personality.

In the end, I would come back for the ravioli, but not for anything else.

Rating: 4.5/10 (5/10 is average. The ravioli saved the rating from being lower).

Michelangelo Ristorante on Urbanspoon


  1. When we lived in Michigan, we found a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant to try out. By the menu, it served a little bit of everything. I don't remember what Angie got, but I tried the gnocchi with Gorgonzola. This was something like five years ago now, and it was also the last time I had truly excellent gnocchi.

  2. an italian no comment

  3. I have given up on trying to find good pesto at a restaurant. Every pesto sauce I've tried has been more cream than basil. Unacceptable. I now only eat pesto in my home.

  4. I had some amazing gnocchi with red sauce at Cucina Toscana in Salt Lake City.