By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Still clamoring for seafood, we order an entrée, the lobster ravioli, to share as another appetizer. Again, like the calamari, the flavors and textures reach a certain stasis of neither mind-blowing nor retch-inducing reaction. The lobster is present in generously sized chunks, but nothing in the preparation, from the bland cream sauce to the tender ravioli, elicits a particular response. No risk, no reward.
And no warmth, either. Even the loveliest parts of the main courses fall victim to the flat-lined atmosphere. A special, the sea bass with tomato cream sauce, benefits from flecks of delicately caramelized shallots, but the dish has no oomph, no swagger or memorable flavor. A pasta with sausage and onions is prepared just fine, but for restaurant prices? To be sure, Capriccio's prices are for the most part merciful—especially considering the plentiful servings and that each entrée comes with soup or salad—but if you pay to eat out, you pay for something you can't get at home: an atmosphere, service, maybe a special epicurean trick. Here, the pasta is cooked well, to American tastes—not quite al dente—and the sausage has a nice spicy kick, but where's the draw?
Still, there is potential. We noticed one standout, the filetto Garibaldi. It's hard to mess up a fillet, it's true, but it's also hard to create a balance between the flavor of the meat and a strong sauce. Capriccio gets it just right. The sauce is brandy-based but not overly sharp, infused with a barely perceptible tang of mustard and shallot. The side of scalloped potatoes suffices, especially when mixed with the leftover sauce.
It is a much simpler dish, relatively speaking, and perhaps as such is what Capriccio could use as a touchstone for its overstuffed menu. The eatery would be better off shelving its attempts at complex elegance and replacing them with true, straightforward character. The napkin thing, the calamari trick...they come off as dry, awkward and un-fun. Like an unstuffed cannelloni, they are a latent shell with no substance. Scale it back, Capriccio, and give us some meat; and, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, tear down those walls.
5301 Alpha Road, 972-991-3939. Open 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-8 p.m. Sunday $$-$$$