Hard Cheese, Fennel Salami and Olives
Farinata with Olives, Lemon and Rosemary
Italian Loaf, Focaccia, Whole Wheat Bread with Olive Oil
Kobocha Squash Casoncelli with Brown Butter, Sage and Aceto Balsamico
Meyer Lemon Pappardelle with Lamb Sausage and Rapini
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Olive Oil, Lemon, Parmigianino-Reggiano
Marsala Braised Pork Shank Alla Milanese
Apple Crostata with Crema
Opened by Chris Bianco in May, the space next to his Town & Country Pizzeria hoping to learn from mistakes of the short-lived Italian Restauant of years past, Tratto sees the Chef and his team embrace the same sort of modest elegance that has defined Bianco as one of the most prominent American culinary voices for decades, the all-white décor just the first indicator of the beauty of simplicity in an era defined by excess.
Larger than it appears from the outside, though still seating no more than forty-five persons when accounting for the bar, those fortunate enough to make a reservation at the dinner-only spot are greeted on entry by pleasant smiles from a modest podium, seats serenaded by light music and tight, but not *too* close to one another as servers purposefully navigate the floor.
Featuring garage-door style access to the exterior plus a patio, the al fresco season longer in Arizona than elsewhere, it was with a menu of just ten choices that diners were presented, one nightly special plus two desserts more well-culled than limited, tables of four or more wisely encouraged to order and share one of each plate.
With Chris himself not present this evening, but the kitchen assuredly still in good hands, it was with small nibbles of Cheese, Olives and Salami that decisions were debated, three styles of house baked Bread arriving minutes later with a layered dish of Olive Oil.
Doing best to sample the seasonal menu’s highlights, the Produce undoubtedly top tier but Salads too filling for two adults and a child, Tratto’s Chickpea Farinata proved to be the meal’s low point with a base that was crisp but too oily beneath briny Olives, the follow-up of two handmade Pastas showing the same quality recalled from Bianco’s previous location next-door as the light Citrus ribbons stood up boldly to Lamb Ragu while envelopes of tender Squash were picture and palate perfect in a shallow pool of Brown Butter, Sage and aged Balsamic.
Electing for the nightly special contorti of steamed-whole Cauliflower alongside a meaty Pork Shank in Marsala Gravy, the comforting flavors of the latter nicely paired to something light, snappy and fresh, desserts are offered by description only with two flavors familiar from years before offered – Mama Bianco’s Tiramisu a dense sponge rich with Espresso and liquor while the hand-formed Crostata continued the rustic theme with rough edges and a dollop of freshly whipped cream.