Food Porn: Trattoria Aroma

If you are slightly obsessed with food like us, you probably watch a lot of Food Network, Travel Channel and Cooking Channel.  While watching the Rome episode of No Reservations a few weeks ago, we became entranced watching Tony eat Cacio E Pepe.  What looked like such a simple dish made our mouths water and we suddenly needed to eat some really good Italian food.

Buffalo has a lot of great Italian restaurants but a lot of them gear their menu towards a more “Italian-American” cuisine.  I love Chef’s, Tina’s and last month’s A Touch of Italy, but that wasn’t exactly what we were looking for.  I don’t know why it took us this long to realize Trattoria Aroma was right down the street from our house, but this craving opened our eyes.

So on a week night Alli and I headed out to try Trattoria Aroma for the first time.  Here’s how it went.

For those who don’t live in the city or visit the city on a regular basis, you might not even know that this restaurant exists.  Down the street from Elmwood, it’s kind-of hidden away in a residential area on Byrant.  Walking inside, I was immediately impressed with how gorgeous it was.  The decor is very modern and clean.

We already knew that we were going to order their Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe ($17) and their Quattro Formaggi Pizza ($13) as we did some serious menu studying before our trip.  But, we didn’t know what their specials would be like and once we saw their Bruschetta (pictured above) appetizer as their special for the day, we knew we had to try it.

This wasn’t your typical bruschetta; Trattoria’s version had braised Rabbit, cooked spinach, goat cheese, some cooked onions and cooked tomatoes.  The sweetness of the tomatoes, with the tangy-ness of the goat cheese and the tender rabbit meat was such an awesome combination.  Not to mention that all of this was placed on top of some lovely toasted bread brushed with olive oil.  It was absolutely fantastic, I can’t recommend it enough as an appetizer.

Alli ordered herself the Quattro Formaggi, which was an incredibly thin crust pizza with some light tomato sauce topped with four different cheeses (gorgonzola, mozzarella, parmesan, and asiago)  It was actually pretty large and could easily be shared between two or three people as an appetizer or part of a larger meal.   As cheese lovers, Alli and I were very pleased.  To note, the gorgonzola was particularly strong, so if you aren’t a fan of that particular cheese, you may want to try one of their other pizza options.

I ordered their Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe, a dish that involves pancetta, peas, cracked peppercorn, light cream, roasted garlic, and shaved romano all on top of spaghetti noodles.  Now the version we saw on television was incredibly simple but Trattoria’s version was a little more complex.  The saltiness of the pancetta was almost overwhelming at first and I was afraid it would cover up the flavor of the rest of the ingredients.  But after a few bites we fell in love and all the flavors started to mix together into an incredibly delicious dish.  That overwhelming salty flavor slowly went away and the pancetta started to melt in my mouth as it mixed with the perfectly cooked noodles and the light yet flavorful garlic cream sauce.  It was honestly one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long time.  I was curious about how their portions would compare to those American Italian restaurants I’ve eaten at before.  And while it wasn’t a ten pound plate of pasta, the serving was still fairly substantial.  Alli and I devoured the entire thing, and both of us were incredibly satisfied.

Trattoria Aroma isn’t cheap, our dinner (and that was without drinks) was about 50 bucks after tip.  So for those of you on a budget, I’d recommend that you try the place out for a lunch visit when their menu is slightly cheaper.  The food was very flavorful and fresh and our service was top notch.  The Aroma Group is fairly known in Buffalo, with a successful location in Williamsville and coffee shop (Cafe Aroma) near BuffState.  But this location is slightly off the Elmwood path and unless you already knew it was there, you’d have no idea to drive down Bryant.  However, I highly recommend you go there for a visit; we had a great time and one of the best meals for 2010.

Trattoria Aroma on Urbanspoon

One thought on “Food Porn: Trattoria Aroma

  1. This is one of my favorite restaurants in Buffalo. You can really taste the freshness of the food and you can especially tell that the noodles are homemade. And I agree with you about the ambiance… I love the pop art of Rome on the walls, and whenever I go in there for lunch they are always playing Kings of Leon which is an added bonus.

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