Friday, October 22, 2010
Iorio Restaurant Review
The calamari appetizer was excellent. It was cooked just right - still tender inside - and the GF breading was nice and crispy. I ordered the Eggplant Parmesan, which was also breaded with a different crispy breading. While my pride will not let me say that it was better than my own recipe for the dish, I thought it was good. My friend Deanna ordered the gnocchi, which was very tender and served in a tomato sauce. Both dishes were a bit on the salty side for me, although Deanna told me later that she didn't notice, and she's used to salty foods. I like salt, and with things that are deep fried I expect it. I don't mind salt to a point, but when it starts to interfere with tasting the tomato, I find that the dish loses balance. On the other hand, I remember sauces being very salty in Italy, so I can't in good conscience dock them points for saltiness. It's authentic!
I learned about Irio's gluten-free dining options while checking out the interactive map on glutenfreepdx.com. I made a reservation even though it was a Wednesday, which I would recommend doing as they were busy. They were very friendly on the phone and asked if there were any food allergies they would be accommodating for the meal. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and the ingredients of the dishes. However, the service was a bit haphazard in other respects. They lost my reservation, and it took them some awkward moments to recover from that. It also took the server a long time to take our drink and meal orders. I got the impression they may have been short-staffed that night. In spite of these small hurdles, I would absolutely go there again. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, and I felt confident in their knowledge and ability to prepare delicious gluten-free Italian food.