Taylor Perry ’14
Needing a break from campus life, we went out into the foreign land of West Hartford for a sampling of Italian cuisine. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from—Bricco, Rizzutos, just to name a few. We settled on Treva as we saw a large bustle of people going in and out. The restaurant serves up classic Italian dishes with all the rich and filling flavors that come with it.
As we entered the dimly lit space, we were greeted warmly and taken to our table. The restaurant expands back surprisingly far, showing even more satisfied patrons. The light fixtures and pendants give an industrial look to the wood finishes. There isn’t much color in the décor minus the sporadic pops of bright, fire-engine red. This is seen on the entrance to the restaurant in the fun, vivid awning on the white brick. Different textures give the Italian restaurant a clean and modern feel. The marble bar was filled with young, working professionals having a night on the town.
This may be my only complaint; they were not very lenient on the bread. One of my rationales for going to an Italian restaurant is the hearty and filling meal you receive and a lot of that comes from the yummy bread you eat way too much of before your meal. Unfortunately, this was not the case with Treva. It was freshly baked, and in fact yummy, but not too substantial. We ordered an antipasta off the menu. Their appetizers range from the traditional bruschetta to the polpo, a grilled octopus with potatoes and arugula. We opted for the calamari that was served with hot cherry peppers, marinara sauce and zucchini.
The calamari was fried in tasty spices; however, my favorite part was the fried cherry peppers that had just the right amount of heat. The menu, not too extensive, also has an insalata section, with classical arugula, caprese and Caesar as well as adventurous fragola, mixed baby greens, strawberry and pistachio goat cheese or the lattuga, bibb lettuce, apple, gorgonzola, and almonds. As an added specialty, Treva has a long list of cured sliced meats and Italian cheeses as well as a mozzarella bar. As a big enthusiast of cheeses myself, I found this very exciting! All of the their names- piave, taleggio, Toscana piccante, sounded delicious, yet I have little knowledge of their tastes. Our waitress was kind and informed us of their flavors. The salami, or cured meats, ranged from classic prosciuttos to sopressata and porchetta- more names with little meaning, yet the same deliciousness, to me.
A shining star of their menu must be the “pasta fresca fatta a mano” hand made fresh pasta. These dishes have everything from ravioli to gnocchi to tagliatelle. We opted for the magliatti and the classic rigatoni. The magliatti was deliciously served with butternut squash, mushrooms, asparagus and truffle oil. The truffle oil added a decadent touch almost making the noodles and mushrooms too sweet. The vegetables merged nicely with the flavors of the sauce and there was none to spare. The rigatoni with sweet fennel sausage Bolognese was excellent. This dish done correctly is a classic Italian meal. The “pietanze,” or entrée, dishes served a wide variety of meats and fishes with their companions. These included cod, veal, filet mignon, lamb chops, strip steak, pork, herb chicken, scallops and salmon.
The swordfish, pescespada, is served with prosciutto, mushrooms, peas and potatoes. I opted for one of my favorite meals, the scallops pettini. They were seared perfectly served over a rich polenta with wild mushrooms and asparagus. The sauce was also very rich and creamy and subtly counteracted the crispness of the scallops.
All in all, the food was great, filling and just what I was looking for. Price may have been a different story. I never mind having to pay for a good meal, but I don’t really know if a pasta dish should be 20 dollars. Regardless, I still was able to enjoy myself in a relaxing atmosphere with great friends. Our waitress even lent us three quarters when our meter was about to expire. Maybe the next time my parents are here I’ll be back again as long as they are the ones paying!