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Trattoria Centrale (Fall), Birmingham AL

October 28, 2011

Another Friday night in Birmingham, another outstanding meal at Trattoria Centrale. This place is quickly becoming a favorite of ours, despite that fact that it is an hour away and not open on Saturdays. Everything seems to be flavored so perfectly and thoughtfully, and it is always fun and interesting to see what they’ve put together on the ever-changing menu.

This visit, I tried the cauliflower soup, which was fantastic. I don’t like cauliflower all that much, but this dish was masterfully flavored and textured- no need to consider any salt, pepper, or accents other than the yellow lemon oil drizzled across the top. My husband ordered the arugula salad, which was presented beautifully and looked tasty.

David’s entree- the scallops- arrived with a lovely array of vegetables and fruits on a bed of excellent polenta. In an out-of-character move for me, I chose the mac ‘n’ cheese with butternut squash and sage. (I picked out the pieces of pork and gave them to my husband, who had been craving it lately and didn’t mind one bit.) It was delicious and well-flavored, but not my new favorite. Nice for a cheesy out-of-the-ordinary treat, but I’d probably only order it again if nothing else on the menu appealed to me.

After being disappointed by the chocolate gelato last time, we were determined to try the tiramisu this time. It was delightful, even better than DePalma’s, which had previously been my favorite. I like tiramisu with a substantial texture, not that melt-in-your-mouth airy consistency you sometimes find. This one was thick, not overly sweet, and completely covered with a layer of powdery ground coffee beans. (I worried about whether I would sleep well that night, but ate it anyway and was glad I did. It must have been decaf, which was kind of them.)

Once again, the servers and staff were friendly, attentive, and mannerly. The atmosphere was cozy and intimate, with big, colorful art on the walls. I’m already wondering how long it will be before we can sneak back up to Birmingham on a Friday for another dinner date.

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