Floriana

If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you’d walk right past Floriana’s nondescript, homey facade on 17th. Ha, just kidding; I knew what I was looking for and I walked an entire block past it. You would never know it was there if it weren’t for their giant, gaudy blue Christmas tree. That’s right. This place is so nondescript that I didn’t even notice a 15-foot-tall lit-up tree. It just looks like someone’s house who really loves Christmas.

Against my husband’s protests about the overratedness of it, we started with the burrata (this point of contention may eventually result in divorce, but we’ll address that at a later time). It came out looking like your typical large ball o’ cheese but it was so much more and even that Negative Nancy I call my spouse agreed. It was so creamy and melty on the inside and the mashed sweet potato on the plate was so delicious and different than any other one we’ve ordered. Everyone was fighting over it.

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I had the duck, which would be easy to compare with my meal two weeks ago at Convivial. It was tasty and perfectly medium-rare, don’t get me wrong, but noticeably chewier than Convivial’s. The large gnocchi on the plate were delicious but not overwhelming, though, and I appreciated that it came with extra greens and mushrooms, which I had found lacking two weeks ago. In general, it was solid but not groundbreaking.

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MVIMG_20181214_185152.jpgMy father-in-law went with the shrimp and scallop risotto. I am constantly baffled by this man’s love of rice, but I’ll withhold judgment for the time being. It was very cheesy. Insanely cheesy, even. They could give Kraft mac a run for their money in terms of cheese flavor. The rice had a good tooth. But–and maybe this was because it was supposed to be only part of a larger, three- or four-course meal–this was a sad amount of seafood to be on top. Two lonely scallops? I feel like it’s not too much to ask for more than a Noah’s Ark number of shellfish.

My husband ordered something called Sunday Gravy. Oh lord, if you want a large bowl of meat, you have come to the right place. The pork was succulent and the meatballs were very flavorful. The pasta was clearly housemade and I enjoyed it, but my husband had small qualms with the texture, which he felt was undercooked.

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Last and kind of least, my mother-in-law got the squash ravioli. This safe choice was just a little too safe. I felt rather indifferent towards this and it wasn’t really a complete meal either. But she also loved it so maybe I’m being a little harsh.

Price: $50 per person.

Bottom line: Floriana has fairly normal, mostly flair-less but still high-quality Italian eats that mostly satisfied us. I also appreciated that the food prices reflected that status. It would be a good choice for when your boring grandparents are in town.

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