My wife and I ate at Roberto Donna's Osteria last night (Friday). We got there a little after 5:30 because the in-laws were baby sitting and we didn't want to keep them too late. The Osteria is to the right of the bar and into the patio. The nice hostess kindly said we could sit where we liked. After being stiffly asked by one waiter, who we never saw again, whether we wanted bottled water, the service the rest of the evening could not have been more gracious. Basically, it seemed we had a waiter and a chef (The waiter explained one chef is dedicated to the Osteria. She was working in the back of the Laboratorio.) to ourselves since we were the only people at the Osteria when we left at 7:15 pm.
We started with the bread plate, which is the same as what others were getting at Galileo. Those ham stuffed rolls and little spinach sandwiches were excellent, but we had to resist from stuffing ourselves. I had a glass of Verdicchio and my wife had the Chianti for around $5. Both were served at the proper temperature. The pasta courses took a little bit of time (who eats at 5:30 but us?), but when I went to the restroom, Lynn (sp?) the chef cooking for the Osteria gave me a tour of the kitchen and Laboratorio. She could not have been friendlier. Before leaving she asked how the food was, I said wonderful, to which she replied something to the effect, "I'm glad I'm not wasting my time on this earth." Hilarious.
The food was wonderful. I had spaghetti carbonara and grouper in tomato saffron sauce. The carbonara was rich, which contrasted with the acidity of the main course. My wife had the pasta with the ragu of pork sausage and squab for her first course and the eggplant parmagiana for her main course. She highly enjoyed both. In all there, were about four choices each of appetizers, pastas, and main courses. Sausages playing a prominent role. Skipped dessert, which was from the regular menu, and enjoyed espresso and cappuchino, respectively. Damage for the evening, including more than 20 percent tip, was less than $65. Incredible.
I don't know why more people were not at the Osteria. The food was excellent and the service we had could not have been more accomodating (we were afraid of snooty service given Galileo's reputation). Will have to try Laboratorio next.