I live in a small town in Santa Barbara County and we have a handful of restaurants – all but one of which serves Italian food. Why is that? Is it because people love pasta and pizza more than anything else? Because kids will always eat spaghetti and meatballs? Because Americans are off fussy French food and dismissive of Chinese takeout?
When I got to Connecticut on my vacation, I found the same situation. Ninety percent of the restaurants in my area are Italian, which means we end up trying them all but feeling as if we went to the same place.
Tonight we went with friends to a lively spot in New Milford called Tivoli.
It was your basic “red sauce Italian,” which means that everything was smothered in tomatoes, olives, capers and onions. Michael’s osso bucco? The same sauce as my grilled salmon. My friend Harriet’s mussels? Same sauce. Her husband Henry’s beef? Yup, same sauce.
I’d like to say the service made up for the one-note food, but a waitress dropped a tray of ice water behind us and we were lucky not to get soaked.
Such a shame. The location is great and the patio is perfect on a balmy summer evening. But I won’t rush back.