Weird night at Hot Tomato's in Hartford last week. We hadn't been in years due to a couple of less than satisfing visits in the past. We chose HT that night because I read about the return of a former chef and thought we would give the place another chance. Everything we ordered was off, some worse than others. We started with the Pasta Pillows. Pillow connotates soft. The sweet potato filling was not soft, it was hard, one was almost crunchy inside.
I was hoping they had the Giobatto. They did it was billed as the "Original" Giobatto. They even had the name of DiFiore pasta in bold on the menu. It wasn't quite the original but it was pretty good, except for the pasta. I don't remember the pappardelle pasta all stuck together before like this was. Clumps stuck to the bottom of the bowl and clumps of 4 and 5 noodles stuck together throughout. My girlfriend had the osso bucco . I thought she had to do too much trimming before she started to eat. She said the flavor was okay but she wasn't expecting it to be so tough.
Then it got a little weird. One of the staff came over and asked us how everything was. I didn't want to get into it, but he picked up on the fact she didn't eat most of the osso bucco and started pressing the issue. She mentioned that it tasted good but was too tough. He asked if we wanted him to take it off the bill. We hemmed and hawed then he said he would take it off. Then he mentioned that if we wanted good osso bucco we should go to this place in Southington (whose name escapes me). I'm thinking to myself, "Now you tell me, I thought we would get good osso bucco here."
When he comes back he says, "I didn't take the osso bucco off but I willl treat you to dessert." What was up with that? Thanks but no thanks, It was time for us to leave. I left feeling badly. I still remember my first visit to Hot Tomato's, it was awesome. I had many fine meals there, but those days are long gone apparently.
1 Union Pl, Hartford, CT 06103