It is with tremendous shame that I admit that I've never been to one of Mario Batali's restaurants. Considering the fact that I live a one-hour train ride from four or five of them, there is really no reason for this. It might have something to do with the fact that Mrs. TVFF and I don't usually go out for a very nice Italian meal. Typically, we opt for a neighborhood Italian restaurant when we do go out, and I cook so much Italian in the house that it's not typically the cuisine of choice when stepping out on the town. Still, this is no excuse for not trying Mario.
Of course, going to one of Mario's places wouldn't guarantee that the orange clogged maestro would even be in the same time zone as you, so you're going there more for the wisdom he imparted on his staff and the menu that he initially put together for the place. Just as we said when we talked about the whole Tyler Florence/Applebee's menu, a chef with his or her name attached has a responsibility to ensure a quality product.
And so we get word on the Mario Batali-inspired frozen pasta dishes that we quickly mentioned in a Crumbs post from a month or so ago. The word? So-so.
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