For our one night in Aix-en-Provence, we chose to dine at the Dal Gladiatore given the prior positive reviews posted to TripAdvisor. We found the food and service to fully merit a five star rating.
Our meal consisted of antipasto of grilled vegetables, followed by a risotto with cepes, the traditional lasagna, a green salad and a bottle of Chianti.
The antipasto was grilled and seasoned to perfection. The Dal Gladiatore stands out for having freshly prepared the antipasto, which was not smothered in a (preservative) pool of olive oil.
The risotto was also impressive. We love a good risotto and appreciate that the selected rice variety is as important in the preparation as the time from pot-to-plate. Dal Gladiatore emphasized that the risotto was Arborio (very good) and then freshly prepared the dish to just the right “creamy-ness” and body. The risotto got full marks plus for flavour.
We also ordered the “lasagna au four maison napolitaines”. Lasagna is not something we would typically order in a restaurant – too often being subjected to re-heated pasta bubbling in tomato sauce. However, we noticed that the Dal Gladiatore offered several types of lasagna, including crespelle, and so out of curiousity decided to give it a try. The Dal Gladiatore lasagna was superb, perfectly moist – but not liquid -- and with a fine balance of pasta layers to ragu filling and a subtle bechamel sauce that shone through. Very flavourful.
We even feel compelled to comment on the simple green salad. The salad was a complementary mixture of three or four greens, served with a balsamic dressing. The salad was an excellent accompaniment to our meal.
With the bottle of decent Chianti, our meal for two came to Euro 66, representing in our estimation exceptional quality for money.
The Dal Gladiatore's menu can be found on their web site as a pdf link. There are not many tables in the restaurant, so a reservation is advisable. We booked a table using their online reservation form and had a quick response. The tables are arranged over two floors, including the vaulted cellar area where we dined and which was comfortable.
Would we return to the Dal Gladiatore and/or recommend it to friends? Absolutely!
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