Friday, July 20, 2012

Restaurant Review: Landini Brothers

On Wednesday, I mentioned that fiance and I faced some hurdles when we tried to eat dinner on Saturday night. Initially we sat down at Columbia Firehouse. We were really excited because this restaurant had been on our list forever. But the dinner really didn't feel right. The hostess was downright cold. Chilly doesn't even begin to describe the arctic conditions when we came in the front door. Now I'm not expecting a whole lot, but a simple hello and a forced smile will suffice. She didn't even look up from the computer. And this restaurant is not a McDonald's. It's not crazy expensive, but nor is it cheap. So a little friendliness is to be expected. Then we sat down at this table under the stairs. Totally Harry Potter style. I'm willing to go with the cozy atmosphere and I enjoyed the table, but the lighting was very industrial and it was as if we had a spotlight on our tiny little corner. Not super comfortable. All of this stuff would have been fine had it not been for the people sitting next to us. We were at a two person table and so were they and the tables were close. Again, understandable. It's a popular restaurant. Unfortunately, these people were THE MOST ANNOYING PEOPLE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. I can't even begin to describe the waste of breathe that was their conversation. And the volume. So incredibly inappropriate for a restaurant, let alone a nice one with people very close to you. We couldn't even hear ourselves think. Had the restaurant conditions aside from Mr. and Mrs. Horrible been perfect, we would have asked to be re-seated. But neither of us really felt like staying. So before we could order drinks, we got up and left. Keep in mind I'm usually the person who is afraid to say my dish is cold. I hate being rude and I think Saturday was only the second time I've ever left a restaurant. HATE IT. But we really felt it was necessary. We want to go back and give it another shot because it's such a historic place, so we are thinking brunch might be the way to go.

Then we went to try Jackson 20. Fiance had been and loved it and wanted to take me. But they were only serving their bar menu. Not such a bad thing but fiance really wanted me to try their food and by this point we were starving. Thwarted again. Because it was hovering around 100 degrees, we went back to the car to consult our restaurant list in the comfort of the air conditioning. All of a sudden I remembered that I loved Landini Brothers when I went for lunch and had been wanting to take fiance. Especially since I had been thinking it would be a fun place for a rehearsal dinner. Luckily fiance was in the mood for Italian (I, however, could eat pasta and pizza nightly). We went and it was perfect. The ambiance was amazing, the service was attentive but not pushy, the other patrons were a normal dinner noise and the food was amazing.

After scarfing down a few pieces of bread (starving I tell you- although to be honest I scarf bread no matter what the hour), we shared a Caprese salad. I ordered Penne alla Romana- penne with Italian sausage and tomato and cream sauce. Fiance ordered Tortellini stuffed with veal in a cream sauce. The menu said my sausage was sweet but turns out it was pretty darn spicy. Luckily fiance liked my meal better and I loved his, so we gleefully traded. A wonderful cappucino for fiance and tea for me rounded out a perfect meal.

Landini Brothers is perfect for a nice, romantic Italian meal. It's towards the fancier and pricier side for Italian food, but way better than its neighbor Il Porto Restaurant. After dinner we walked down the block and got some great salt-water taffy. It ended up being a wonderful night and I'm more convinced than ever that things happen for a reason.


  1. This night was a lesson in standing up for yourself and not feeling limited by social norms. Is it typically appropriate to make a reservation, show up at the restaurant, decide you don't like it, and walk out? Probably not. But we had a much, much better time because we did what *we* wanted, no matter what dirty looks we got from the waitress or hostess.

    Landini Brothers is a great, traditional Italian restaurant. Quiet, dark, cozy and conservative. It is definitely on the pricier side, but not prohibitively so, and you're guaranteed to have a great time.


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