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Low-key neighborhood restaurant serving mediocre Italian cuisine.

Our Review

If you're looking for a little of that old-time cucina, head just southwest of downtown, around 23rd and Western, where there's a group of Italian restaurants that seem fixed in time -- remnants, one likes to think, of a happier age, when every corner provided the kind of soul-sustaining fare most of us have experienced only as anecdote. Unfortunately, quaintness and an antique patina do not amount to a quality dining experience, as I discovered on a recent visit to Il Vicinato Ristorante. A pleasant little spot with a bar in the front and a smallish, minimally decorated dining room on the side, the place seems built for serious eating. The food this night, however, was abysmal -- bland, undersize mussels, gray, greasy saltimbocca, bone-dry chicken vesuvio, and overcooked mostaccioli in an awful meat gravy. Dessert was only slightly better -- a decent-sized hunk of tiramisu, curiously bereft of booze and espresso but rich in a bewildering, though festive, inch-thick cloud of whipped cream. The glacial service only deepened our despair. By the time the busboy poured iced tea into my companion’s half-full glass of wine, we were thoroughly deflated.

Chip Dudley

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Price: $$
Payment Type: American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa

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