Restaurants & Bars

Mulino's Trattoria, Northampton, MA - Report


Restaurants & Bars

Mulino's Trattoria, Northampton, MA - Report

Dave M.P. | Nov 30, 2005 11:21 PM

My grandparents had a gift certificate for Mulino's and invited me to go with them for dinner on Tuesday night. I accepted. None of us had been there before, and we did not have very high expectations. When we arrived to a nearly empty dining room at 6:30 PM, we still had our doubts. Luckily, the meal ended up being a very pleasant surprise.

Between the three of us, we shared two appetizers. Spinach insalata was excellent: a huge serving of fresh and nice looking baby spinach, topped with roasted peppers, red onion, bits of pancetta and gorgonzola cheese, all nicely dressed in a delicious balsamic vinegar dressing. The salad was one of the highlights of the meal...I have eaten several times at other Italian places in the area (Spoleto, Carmelina's, Del Raye, Pinocchios) and can't remember having salads nearly this good.

Fried calamari was probably the weakest part of the entire meal. The batter didn't have much flavor at all, the calamari were somewhat tender but not amazingly so. The spicy devil sauce was not that spicy or that tasty.

We each ordered a main dish, although after our salad, calamari and bread we had already eaten a lot. Bread was served with a pesto dip which was pretty good.

I had a penne and scallop dish that does not appear to be on the online menu, so I can't remember what it was called. It was very good: penne with seven or eight large, perfectly cooked scallops, lots of spinach and lots of garlic, all in a tomato sauce with a touch of cream.

My grandfather had the filetto del porco, which is "prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin stuffed with figs and Gorgonzola, drizzled with a balsamic demi glaze and served with risotto and grilled asparagus." I'm getting lazy, copying and pasting now. This was good, although until reading the description that I just copied, I had totally forgotten about the figs. Maybe they were easy to miss? The serving of risotto was large and very good...I couldn't pinpoint all the flavors, but in general it was cheesy but not too overpowering.

My grandmother had the Bistecca Fiorentina, which is a "New York strip loin grilled with chopped roasted garlic and extra virgin olive oil, accompanied by sauteed spinach and potato." This was ordered medium rare, and medium-rare it was! In fact, it edged on the side of rare. Once again a large serving, very nice potatoes (lightly seasoned and baked bite sized pieces) and a generous side of spinach, cooked with just the right amount of olive oil and plenty of garlic.

We shared two glasses of red wine, but I can't remember which ones, though nothing on the website menu looked familiar. We also, in the end, shared one dessert: Flourless chocolate torte which was described as a "rich chocolate torte, bakes slowly, served with red raspberry and white chocolate sauce, and a hazelnut cookie." In reality, it was served with a few strawberries, two sauces which didn't seem to be raspberry or white chocolate, a hazlenut cookie and some whipped cream. Extremely nice presentation, very good dessert!

We were all very pleased with this place, and I'd definitely go back. I ate at Spoleto this summer, and I definitely think this meal at Mulino's was much better food-wise. The 'scenes' at Spoleto and Carmelina's are better than Mulino's, and the music at Mulino's was awful, but aside from that and mediocre calamari, I have no complaints! Service was good, and most importantly, it was clear that the person/people in the kitchen put a lot of effort into perfecting almost every dish we ordered.

Dave M.P.


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