My husband and I had dinner at Donna Marie's in the Georgetown section of Redding (on Main Street) before an absolutely amazing Kenny Rankin concert at the Ridgefield Playhouse.
Although the dining room is lovely, I am sorry to say the food was disappointing.
The restaurant is housed in the former Delfino's space, and it is new and nice, though the main dining room could use a plant, or something on the walls to muffle the sound. It echoes. Otherwise, truth be told, this is exactly the kind of dining atmosphere I like. Nicely spaced tables and comfortable.
Onto the food. It's Italian. Our server brought us a bread basket with only a few small pieces of crusty Italian bread, but they were delicious and hot, served with cold butter. Good start.
We passed on alcohol not wanting to risk falling asleep at the concert (hey we're getting old...) We were offered a choiced of bottled or tap water and chose tap. Perfectly fine.
We also skipped appetizers and decided to have mains. I ordered the Veal Francese and hubby ordered the Grandma's special-recipe lasagne.
We shared our meals. The veal was properly cooked and tasted good, but the sauce needed more lemon. It was dull. I almost asked for a lemon half to inject a little acid onto the dish. The restaurant may want to consider putting one on the plate as a garnish.
If the sauce had been more lemony it would have been a big hit, as it was, it was okay. The dish comes with a side of spaghetti, and it was the tiniest pasta side dish I had ever seen. It wasn't bad - all two bites.
The Grandma-recipe lasagna had been written up in a review in The Redding Pilot as coming from the owner's family recipes. This one was nothing to write home about. It was touted as being made with fresh pasta and no cheese, but used sausage instead. Intriguing. We thought maybe there would be a layer of sausage. But instead, it was several layers of the nice lasagne noodles with a ground sausage tomato sauce. After one bite, it was boring. It was okay, but nothing you would race back again for.
Having a lot of time to kill before our show (At this point dinner had only lasted a half hour), we decided to have cappucinos and dessert. The cappucinos were good. Desserts were not. A creme brulee was standard issue. The molten lava cake was dreadful. It was rubber. Arriving within a couple minutes after being ordered, clearly it had been made in advance and reheated or re-nuked. After one bite each, I sent it back telling the waitress that it was rubbery, dry and and there was no liquid chocolate in the center.
She offered to bring another, and I said fine. The next one was worse as it had been nuked extra hard and was searing hot. It was also rubbery with no "moltenness". I summoned the poor young girl again and told her the problem. She said last week the kitchen had problems with its Tiramisu. She thanked me for understanding, said she would tell the chef, and whisked the second one away. And that was pretty much it. There was no comping or anything else said by anyone. The dessert stayed on the bill.
I just don't give this place much hope. Too bad because I love the room.
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