Trattoria Orsini is an Italian restaurant and bar at six Congress Street in Salem. It is a new restaurant that has been open since July 21, 2016. There was a restaurant there previously called Grape Vine that was under a different ownership which the current chef of Trattoia Orsini used to cook for. Their executive chef, Vittorio Ambrogi is from Tuscany, Italy and was the one who worked on the new menu of Trattoria Orsini for six months. Jeff Gatman is the owner of this and many other restaurants in the area but his son in law, Michael Gajewski is the general manager of this restaurant.
This menu does not have any pictures and looks plain and basic with Old English MT font for the headings and text. The restaurant most likely uses this to convey that they are a fancy restaurant and to convey that they are an Italian restaurant. Also, the word Trattoria in the name of the restaurant is an Italian word that means in Italy a fairly casual, mid-priced restaurant but when this is used outside of Italy, it can suggest a family friendly style or relaxed atmosphere which in this case, the restaurant uses the word to mean they have a relaxed atmosphere since I went to the restaurant myself and can confirm the restaurant does feel like this.
Most of the meals on the menu tell you what they use for ingredients. The menu also used the word “fresh” on the names of the meals on the menu as well as the ingredients as for example “Fresh Rigatoni alla Bolognese” and “fresh rosemary pappardelle”. The food on the menu has typical Italian meals and all the meals have Italian words used in them to make them sound more authentically Italian. Some of the meals have different types of cheeses’ like provolone, parmigiano, and pecorino cheese. They have seasonal menus and they have daily specials with special dishes that are selected by the chef like “Cannellini, escarole and meatball soup” and “lamb meatballs with spicy tomato sauce, sautéed spinach and goat cheese”. Even though it is not mentioned on the menu, they do offer sodas and deserts such as chocolate mouse, bread pudding, and tiramisu.
They have a wide variety of alcoholic drinks available at their bar as desired. Only two cocktails offered on the menu are Italian. They have regular beers that any typical bar would have. Most of their wines are from Europe because the menu tells you about where they are from. They have special pasta dishes that are cooked with different sauces and meats and sometimes fish. They also have an appealing list of appetizers that you can order while you wait for your meal and you also have an option to order three types of salads with different salad dressings. The prices on the menu are comparable to other Italian restaurants in the area.
What the Restaurant is like
The restaurant has a very modern look and has background music and candles that set the atmosphere at the indoor part of the restaurant. The restaurant has an option where you can eat at their outdoor patio by the water. While you wait for your meal to be served, they present freshly baked Italian bread with Italian olive oil with smashed peppers and tomato to dip your bread in. This is a dinner only restaurant since they only open at 4 pm and close at midnight.
Even though the restaurant is new, they have mostly favorable reviews on Yelp.com like this review from Lydia T who says: “the menu offers Italian classics with creative twists. Prices are moderate and reasonable. This is a nice spot for a quiet celebration of a special event (or to unwind after a long week).”
Trattoria Orsini Menu comparison
I compared the menu of Trattoria Orsini to other Italian menus to see how they compare. Bertini’s restaurant menu is Italian and American based cuisine. The only thing that is fancy about Bertini’s restaurant menu is their name on the menu. Firenze Trattoria and Bella Verona menus sound fancy and have Italian words used in their menu to achieve this like Trattoria Orsini. Firenze Trattoria and Bella Verona both list the ingredients to their foods just like Trattoria Orsini. However, all the menus have different food choices and prices that is unique to their menu. The wines of Bella Verona and Firenze Trattoria in comparison to Trattoria Orsini have a variety of wines to try though Firenze Trattoria has wines that are all from Italy and only Trattoria Orsini and Bella Verona have some wines that are not Italian based. Bertini’s restaurant does not have any wine because they are family based and they have a kid’s menu which is not seen on Trattoria Orsini’s menu or the other menus that I have mentioned. What I concluded from this is that Italian restaurants are all unique in their own way.
Information is from the restaurant’s own website: http://www.trattoriaorsini.com/
I also went and ate at the restaurant where I asked the waitresses additional information about the restaurant.
Restaurants used for comparison: Bella Verona: http://bellaverona.com/menu.php
Firenze Trattoria: http://firenzesalem.com/Menu.html
Bertini’s Restaurant: http://di.salemstate.edu/salemfood/exhibits/show/salem-menus-2017/bertinisrestaurant
Trattoria Orsini Reviews on Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/trattoria-orsini-salem?hrid=fu2tJCJOzURtaiy0xfslsQ&osq=italian+restaurants+in+Salem%2C+MA