Donatello's re-opened in Indiana just a few days ago. This was a favorite restaurant of mine before they closed. The location was odd and the restaurant was cluttered and small, but it was wonderful. They closed a year or so ago with talk of coming back to Indiana - and here they are!
Last night was date night, so naturally Donatello's was our first pick. The new location is on Philadelphia St, next to the China King. The ambiance is perfect. The restaurant is gorgeous and just the right size. The service was slow, but I realize that most of the staff is new. There was much grace to be extended - I'm just glad they're back.
One of my favorite dishes is pasta pomodoro. Done right all the flavors blend so well that there is a beautiful explosion of perfection in your mouth. I especially love if there are chunks of garlic. There is no room for minced garlic in a dish where garlic is a key ingredient. There are only five ingredients!
I, obviously, ordered the pasta pomodoro. It was good. Large chunks of tomatoes, and lots of them. Basil was noticeable, but it didn't stand out. And the garlic, I don't remember any chunks. I wasn't terribly disappointed, but I did think about mentioning to my date that I could have made better at home. Because I could have. Also, I must say, I remember the portions being a little larger at the old restaurant. However, I wasn't able to finish my meal so there must have been plenty there.
The bread was incredible. Fresh, homemade, perfection. The dipping sauce had sun-dried tomato in it that added a little punch to the olive oil. My date ordered Chicken Marsala, which was quite tasty (and he doesn't like mushrooms!). They topped the dish with a few slices of red pepper and it added a wonderful crunch and flavor to the dish. Marsala is such a rich dish. So much flavor, I could almost be overwhelmed. I'm always glad that I don't order it myself, but just borrow a few bites from whomever does.
Dessert was a good ending, but wasn't necessary. I had tiramisu and always will if it's on the menu. I'm a s.u.c.k.e.r for tiramisu and I'm picky about it, too. This particular tiramisu was okay. The coffee flavor wasn't as strong as I would have like and there was A LOT of cocoa on top. The creamy-ness was very good. I just don't think it was homemade, though. I'm not certain of this yet, so don't quote that.
My opinion is this: if you are a small, non-chain, mom and pop Italian restaurant - you should be making your own tiramisu. This is another post all in itself, but this needed to be addressed. Just find the right recipe for you and go at it!
Overall, I'm glad Donatello's is back. Next time, I'll order something different and hope for a little more excitement. The menu did look quite impressive. One more high five for Donatello's: a great, non iceberg lettuce salad! There were greens galore and I couldn't have been happier.
Welcome back, Donatello's!