Monday, March 03, 2008
Near mega-outlet mall land. That is, in Vacaville with it's huge campus of outlets. I go here once a year or so for a buying frenzy, then I don't want to see it for a looong time. I met a business associate and a long-time reader of this blog for lunch in this fair city for a multitude of business reasons. We first let my 'car' do the choosing with its 'Points of Interest' restaurant listing as we had all been pressed for time and didn't do any research. That was not a good idea. We drove past our first pick, a Chinese restaurant, which looked like it was part of the set of a bad section of town in a B movie. We then just stopped at the first place that looked welcoming, which was Pietro's No 2 (yes, there is a No 1 owned by others).
I started with the clam chowder, only available on Fridays. It was barely acceptable, a little too creamy (overpowering the clam flavor) and a little too much starch was used in thickening (further obscuring the clam flavor). It was mostly creamy liquid, and the submerged ingredients, diced potatoes and clams, were thinly dispersed.
My dining companions both tried the tossed dinner salad. Michael intuitively chose the oil and vinegar on the table to adjust his dressing, while Karen ordered a vinaigrette type dressing which was heavy in oil and encapsulated the other dressing ingredients such that it looked a little unappetizing. The greens were fresh and they both seemed to enjoy the salads despite the dressing issue. Karen's salad is pictured above with said dressing.
I followed my soup with a half-order of capellini with marinara sauce and added mushrooms. The noodles were cooked al dente just perfectly, and the sauce with mushrooms blended pleasingly with the noodles. It was quite large considering it was a half-order!
Michael also had a half-order of pasta choosing the rigatoni with marinara sauce. He voiced no complaints.
Karen arrived by separate car, and a little later, so when ordering she freshly considered the options and got a deal. If you order a full order, the salad or soup is included. She thought that the leftover linguine and clams in marinara sauce would make a fine second meal. And it looked like she was enjoying her entree too. You'd think from our order all they have is marinara sauce, however, they do have quite a variety of sauces to choose from including pesto, meat, butter & garlic and so on with the typical Italian varieties. Pietro's is a cut above average for the area and I far prefer a 'local' restaurant to a chain, and if you do too, you might consider this place if you find yourself at mealtime in Vacaville. Pietro's No 2 is located just across from City Hall.