Photo courtesy of Trattoria al Giardino

Restaurant Review: Trattoria al Giardino

Find Tuscan warmth in the heart of Frisco.

Any fan of home improvement shows will tell you that curb appeal is highly prized. Trattoria al Giardino’s owners must be fans of the HGTV channel. With its cut-stone facade and courtyard complete with gurgling fountain, this Frisco restaurant exudes a sunny Tuscan warmth that is a welcome reprieve from the humdrum chain restaurants populating the suburb’s culinary landscape. Of course, good looks only go so far. We were there to eat, not take design notes. And Giardino would be worth the trip even if it was a fixer-upper, though nothing on the menu was particularly revelatory. Rigatoni Bolognese, Gorgonzola gnocchi, chicken Parmesan: these are dishes you’ve probably had 100 times. But they were deliciously comforting. Some dishes—such as the spinach and ricotta ravioli, with its handmade pasta, and the oven-roasted black cod in a spry white wine sauce—even flirted with greatness. The hand-tossed pizzas were a chewy treat. And the wine list had just enough affordable Italian choices to make Giardino a regular weekly hangout. It was obvious from the packed house and chorus of happy voices that Frisco residents agree.

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