I Pazzi: We Wanted to Love You, But We Just Couldn’t

Posted: November 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Danvers, I Pazzi, Italian | No Comments »

A series of service missteps and kitchen issues added up to a very disappointing meal last weekend at I Pazzi in Danvers. We had heard good things about their authentic Italian food, but we had serious issues with flavor, among other things.

The menu looked very interesting, with traditional Italian fare mixed with the somewhat more exotic, including pasta with pheasant or wild boar meat sauce. We ordered a bottle of chianti, and our bread plates were filled with an artistic blend of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes.

But as we waited for our appetizers, which took more than 30 minutes to appear, we also waited for bread to dip into the oil. After we reminded the waitress, she brought warm rolls in the style of scali bread. A nice touch, although not appreciated by those in our party who dislike sesame seeds. Our appetizers were just okay, a very small timballo of eggplant that needed more flavor or at least texture ($8), and clams and mussels with a nice sauce for dipping the bread ($10).

With the exception of the osso buco ($29), which was tender and had good flavor, there were issues with all of our dishes. The beef filet was tender and cooked properly, but the peppercorn/cognac sauce was bland ($30), as was the garganelli with pheasant ($25). The salmon filet was wildly oversalted on top, although the rest of the filet was tender and quite good ($22). The thin slice of polenta underneath the salmon had no flavor at all. The asparagus on several plates, along a side dish of spinach, was delicious.

The menu description of the filet did not mentioned any accompaniments, so we asked and were told it came with asparagus and potatoes. But when the plate arrived, there were no potatoes; they were also missing from the veal shank plate, and no explanation was given. When we asked, we were told they had run out of potatoes, with no offer of a substitution. A couple of minutes later, the waitress returned and offered us polenta or pasta as a substitute, so we said we would try one of each. Neither had any flavor, so we were again disappointed.

With so many options for great Italian food on the North Shore, we’re a bit puzzled as to why the dining room was packed full (although, granted, it was a Saturday night); we certainly won’t be returning any time soon.

I Pazzi
50 Maple St, Danvers
(978) 777-1955