By: Bennett Fuson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It’s always fun to dress up and change your appearance. Dressing up allows you to pretend like you are something that might be the complete opposite. Dattolo’s Ristaurante and Pizzaria does just that, serving mall-food-court-style food in an elegant, ritzy setting.
I’m not trying to bash Dattolo’s in any major way. It’s got a great location on Old Meridian, next to Meridian Music, which is becoming hot real estate on the West Side. It’s just that the name “Dattolo” is rather misleading: I would be happier if it said, “Dattolo, Fancy Cousin of Sbarro.”
I had heard before that at Dattolo’s, since it was a rather new restaurant, the service was not quite up to par with the expectations. I didn’t have much of a problem with service… because there was none. I guess dinner may be different, but for lunch, patrons had to go to the counter and order their food. This was a bit troubling, considering that Dattolo’s looks fancy enough to require a dress code. It almost felt like going up to the hostess at St. Elmo’s Steakhouse and saying, “Hi! I’ll have the…”
The food itself, which is what everyone really cares about, was not too bad. Dattolo’s claims to hold the award for Best Pizza in Indiana. Personally, I wouldn’t be so bold, but if it helps attract the customers, then whatever. The pizza was as good as anything available at a mall food court. This is a compliment, since I swear by the culinary man-law that mall food court pizza could be the greatest food ever. However, it was not $18 good. Truthfully, I could have gotten the same pizza, maybe even a better pizza, at Costco for at least $5 cheaper.
That was a bit harsh, so it’s time to focus on some positives. The pizza really was good. The sauce was kind of tangy or spicy (I couldn’t figure out which) but complemented the cheese and, in this case, pepperoni, well. The garlic bread was by far the best aspect of the meal. Garlic bread isn’t really accurate, since there was very little garlic, but the melted mozzarella/provolone cheese saved this dish from utter mediocrity.
Garlic bread alone, however, cannot save a sinking restaurant. As I mentioned earlier, service was non-existing for me, a report that I received from other people who had the same experience. It wouldn’t be nearly as bad if Dattolo’s looked like a casual, laid-back restaurant, because then the service and atmosphere is fitting. Instead, Dattolo’s dresses itself up like a glamorous redneck, not in any way true to itself regarding its appearance.