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cc | Sep 7, 200203:59 AM     3

Baldoria is a lovely little trattoria up on Larkin/Green. The smiling hosts are full of Italiano spirit and make you feel very welcome. However, the food has a number of problems.

First of all, all the hot dishes we ordered were lukewarm by the time they arrived at our table.

We started with a polenta w.gorgonzola and wild mushrooms. The dish had decent flavor but due to the delay in arriving at our table it grew more than a bit gluey and became far less appetizing than I imagine it would have been otherwise. Still, it was a decent effort but nothing to get excited about.

For some reason they screwed up our order and brought us a salad instead of a small antipasto plate - once we pointed out their error they were gracious and brought us the correct appetizer, which, again, was competent but nothing remarkable; small mozzarella chunks, marinated/grilled zucchini slices, artichokes, calamari/seafood salad, etc. Generally a forgettable appetizer.

The first course was the best -- half moon pasta pillows with spinach/ricotta in a mascarpone sauce. Rich but very tender. However, yet again, it was lukewarm! But, this was a good dish.

We split the entree, a special for the evening; Wild Boar with raisins and pine nuts in a Barolo sauce. Sounds, good, right? Wrong - think elevated hospital food. The braised boar was pretty tasty, but the presentation was dull, the food was barely heated and in general really bland. It came with some hash brown potato cubes that I've seen before with eggs and the zucchini/tomato ragout was just not good. Thank god we split it for $17.95. By the way, the wine list is generally on the safe side and the prices are fair.

So, what can I say? The owner-operators are so welcoming that it's hard not to like the place, but the chef just needs to get his overall game together to make me want to return. I'd say if you are looking for a cute place to go and get a decent pasta and a reasonably priced bottle of wine, give it a shot. But expect no more for sure.

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