So...I decided that walking to Piattini made a lot more sense than trying to trek over to Brookline in the snow to La Morra. (and then searching in vain for a parking spot when I got back)....A trip to La Morra is definitely in my future.
Here are my thoughts. The meal was OK. We started with an order of the calamari puttenesca; I am a huge fan of calamari done just about any way but the standard 'fried' - I love it grilled, sauteed, braised...This was braised with chunks of tomatoes, olives, a pretty standard sauce. It was good, the calamari was a bit rubbery. It's always such a great feeling when I have a calamari app that just hits the mark - calamari the way it's meant to be, soft, melt in your mouth, soaking up the flavors of whatever sauce it's prepared with. Unfortunately, this happens rarely, and Piattini's preparation was no exception.
We also got a small ceasar salad; this was served with about 6 stalks of romaine already dressed...you basically grab a couple of stalks and cut them up...a different way to serve it. Overall a good salad and the ceasar dressing was just right.
Then - - a small plate order of the gnocchi; an order of the Tagliatelle Bolognese; and an order of the zuppa de mare; we all shared. The best of these by far was the gnocchi. It came in a small dish with chunks of tomato and melted mozz, somewhat reminicent of Antico Forno's version but not nearly as good. The bolognese sauce (which I had previously read a great review about) was really nothing special. Too bad b/c I was really looking forward to it...I am by no means a bolognese expert, but even I know that it shouldn't be just a basic meat sauce. It really wasn't that flavorful. Made me think perhaps it was only made with beef (with no pork or veal?) Certainly not bad, but also not nearly enough to make me go "wow...amazing". That sentiment seems to be reserved only for the mouthwatering version at Teatro, which I still think is the best in the city. Unfortunately, the person in my party who ordered this wanted it with linguine vs tagliatelle (there's no question bolognese is much better paired with a more hearty pasta like tagliatelle, so credit does go to Piattini for presenting it this way) so in all honesty I didn't have it exactly the way I should have but still - - I had the sauce, and that was what I was really after - and it was just average.
The zuppe de mare...was good, again, but, just that. OK. Clams, mussels, swordfish, all simmered in a chunky tomato sauce on a bed of linguine.
Our dessert was delicious - - one of those warm chocolate cakes you see on just about every dessert menu these days - with an essence of almond and a scoop of gelato (which our waiter told us is flown in from Naples)...we substituted the gelato it was supposed to come with (hazelnut) for a special cherry gelato they had that night. Excellent.
Service was very accomodating. We had a bottle of chianti which was perfectly acceptable, and when they present it to you they hand you a cute little card that has the name of the wine and a description. A cute little idea, more appealing to me just b/c I always have a problem remembering a certain wine I might have liked at a restaurant. It's a cool concept just b.c you can take the card with you if you want to try and seek it out on your own again, so that's nice.
But all in all..I feel like, I probably wouldn't rush back there. Not because it's not good, just because there are so many other spots that are BETTER. I guess if you're looking for a couple of small bites, it's not such a bad place to grab a drink and enjoy a few. Would I make a destination meal out of it? No.
And, though Chowhounders have had mixed experiences at Giacomo's, I went recently for the first time and thought it was really good. So honestly, if I was in the mood for Italian in that neighborhood, that's where I'd go. Or, Joe V's....which I feel has a few standards that are really good, and overall it's gotten much better over the past few months.
Bill for 3 was approx $120 including tip. Not bad, but still, I think you could do better price-wise (and probably food-wise) at either of the above listed places.