TTOTT Review: Trattoria Al Gusto, Mooresville, NC {Italian}

The TTOTT's review of Trattoria Al Gusto {Italian} 4.25 out of 5 ♥ Service ♥♥♥♥♥ Atmosphere ♥♥♥♥ Food ♥♥♥♥ Value ♥♥♥♥

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Trattoria Al Gusto {Italian} 4.25 out of 5

  • Service ♥♥♥♥♥
  • Atmosphere ♥♥♥♥
  • Food ♥♥♥♥
  • Value ♥♥♥♥

Restaurant Week aka Charlotte Queen’s Feast is the week that you try places you haven’t made it out to just yet. Taste three courses and if you like them, you go back to enjoy their regular menus at a later time.  This was Trattoria Al Gusto in Mooresville, NC and definitely made my list of must returns.

The TTOTT's review of Trattoria Al Gusto{Italian} 4.25 out of 5 ♥ Service ♥♥♥♥♥ Atmosphere ♥♥♥♥ Food ♥♥♥♥ Value ♥♥♥♥

The restaurant is located in an old renovated church, just north of the quickly gentrifying old Mooresville.  It’s where Prickly Pear used to be before they moved to their location on the lake.

We had a fairly large group of 7 and went out on the first Friday of January restaurant week.  Our reservation was for 7 PM and my sister’s husband couldn’t get out of work on time and we were going to miss our reservation.  My husband and I headed up there first to see how busy the restaurant was and to see if they would be able to accommodate pushing our reservation back.  We were greeted promptly at the door and they couldn’t have been nicer about our party running late.

We decided to sit at the tiny bar while we waited.

My husband is bilingual and he noticed our waiter spoke both Spanish and Italian. Always happy to speak in Spanish to anyone who will listen, he switched languages and chatted up the bartender.  It turns out the owners, two brothers, are from Ecuador, serving up some mighty delicious Italian food.  One of them was the chef that evening and the other was our very attentive waiter.

Not feeling especially creative on a Friday night, I asked the bartender for recommendations. He offered up a French martini which he said was a mix of vodka, chambord and OJ.

Once the rest of our party had arrived we were promptly seated and offered cocktails.  There was a 50% off wine bottles special and they had a Sangiovese wine.  My brother-in-law absolutely lit up with pleasure when he saw it on the menu.  My sister-in-law ordered a glass of white and commented on what a generous wine pour they have.  Already all good signs!

We were allowed ample time to greet one another and chat before placing our orders.  I think that this restaurant feels that lingering over a meal and not feeling rushed is a priority.  I’d read the Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews before coming here and noticed that some people felt the service was slow.  I am of the opinion that the owners value the interpersonal portion of dining out.

There was absolutely no lack of attention.  Water glasses were filled as we sat down and re-filled frequently.  We were promptly served an absolutely delicious homemade bread and crispy, thin breadsticks with a pesto/olive oil sauce, with a bit of a kick to it, to dip it in.

Since we were just a big group we got to try a lot of what was on the menu that night.

Trattoria Al Gusto’s Food

Appetizers:
FRITO CALAMARI (Deep fried calamari served with arrabbiata sauce and arugula.)  The menu calls it arrabbiata sauce, I thought it was marinara because it didn’t have any kick to it.  Arrabbiata means “angry” in Italian and it’s name in the title refers to the spiciness of the sauce. This arrabbiata/marinara sauce here is so delicious you could drink it straight.  The server said they make their sauces every single day.  It was light, clean and fresh tasting.  The coating on the calamari was the kind of coating that makes anything fried in it taste good and their fry oil tastes clean.

TUNA TARTAR (Sushi-grade tuna, bell pepper, avocado, and tomato. Served with lemon dressing and oil).  Delicious.

Trattoria Al Gusto Tuna Tartar

BUFFALO MOZZARELLA (Tomato, basil, and Campania mozzarella.)  Delicious.

LOBSTER MUSHROOMS (Mushrooms stuffed with lobster meat, spinach, cheese. Served in brandy cream sauce)  Fabulous.  I was worried it would be heavy but not at all.

SCALLOPS PAN SEARED (Sea scallops, white mushrooms and cauliflower puree finished with balsamic reduction.)  Two gorgeously presented sea scallops with a delicious light, creamy cauliflower puree.  Unfortunately, this dish had gone cold while waiting for the rest of the group but I think it would be fantastic if hot.

Main Dishes:
LAMB SHANK (Slow breasted lamb shank with vegetables, sangiovese wine. Served with gnocchi.)  Excellent.

VEAL SCALLOPINI ALLA MARSALA (Sauteed veal with mushrooms, and sweet marsala wine. Served with spinach and mashed potato.)  My brother cleaned the plate.

OSSO BUCO (Breasted pork shank served with the truffle mashed potato, and gremolata.)  My husband LOVED this.  The owner told him it’s in his own personal top three dishes.

Trattoria Al Gusto Osso Bucco

GRILL SALMON (Atlantic grilled salmon served spinach and roasted potato, and Dijon mustard sauce on the side.)  Good but mustard sauce was a little strong.

FISH OF THE DAY- Our only disappointing dish.  It was mahi mahi in olives and tomatoes which were good, but the fish itself was chewy and strongly fishy.

FILET MIGNON RAVIOLI (Stuffed ravioli with filet mignon, mushrooms, thyme, ricotta, and parmesan cheese. Served with roasted cherry tomato, basil, and truffle cream sauce.)  Homemade, light pasta makes for incredible ravioli.  Not dense, not heavy.  Wonderful.  All of their pasta is HOMEMADE… every day.

Trattori Al Gusto Filet Mignon Ravioli

LOBSTER RAVIOLI (Stuffed ravioli with lobster meat, ricotta, and parmesan cheese served ala vodka sauce.)  At a table full of really top notch dishes, this was just a smidge above the rest and voted table favorite.

Dessert:
CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE (not your mother’s chocolate souffle!) In a dense, crispish crust.  Delicious.

Trattoria Al Gusto Chocolate Souffle

CANNOLI- Oddly, no one ordered one so our server brought one on the house to let us try.  Fantastic.

Trattoria Al Gusto Cannoli

TIRAMISU- Very good but if stuck between this and the cannoli, I’d get the cannoli, personally.

Trattoria Al Gusto Tiramisu

CHEESECAKE- Excellent.

All in all?  You need to go.  We had a great visit, we’ll definitely be back, we’ll definitely bring my hard-of-hearing parents. When they renovated from Prickly Pear to Trattoria Al Gusto they did something that helped with acoustics and you can hear your tablemates speak. Which was great.  Prices are good, there’s only one dish over $20 on the regular menu and I’m a sucker for homemade pasta!


Trattoria Al Gusto {Italian}

761 North Main Street, Mooresville, NC

  • Appetizers – $8.99 – $12.99
  • Salads – $6.99 – $8.99
  • Pastas – $12.99 – $19.00
  • Entrées – $16.99 – $24.00
  • Desserts – $5.50 – $6.25

http://www.trattoriaalgusto.com

Have you tried Trattoria Al Gusto yet?  How was your experience?  What were your favorite dishes?

Fondly, Kristen

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fondly-kristen

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