Well, the world is on fire and nobody is sure what to do, least of all me. So I’m going to keep reviewing restaurants for you nice people. Except the dining rooms are closed (as well they should be), so I’m going to start reviewing takeout in a new segment called Take Me Out. Some of these will be sponsored. I’m restarting my Patreon in case any of you would like to help sponsor some reviews, as well. But, like, if you can’t...then don’t. We’re all struggling in this moment and, I don’t know, I just want to help the restaurants that are just trying to survive and maybe give you some kind of distraction from [gestures vaguely at all of human existence] this stuff.
I was a hot minute from giving Piatto Italian Kitchen a proper review when COVID-19 made like “The Real World” and decided to stop being polite and start getting real. Here’s my First Looks from a few months back, if you’d like to know more about the restaurant you’re not currently allowed to eat in (it’s gorgeous, btw).
Enis Mullaliu, former GM of Vast, is the owner and he’s trying very hard in a very tough situation to keep you guys fed. Currently Piatto is offering take-out service by phone (405-608-8866), but you can also order via Postmates. Business hours have changed to 5-8 p.m., because people really aren’t looking to eat dinner before 5 p.m. or after 8 p.m.
One VERY cool thing Enis said was, if you mention that you read about Piatto on I Ate Oklahoma, they’ll chop 20 percent off your tab (call-in only, I don’t think they do that with Postmates). If you’re in the kind of financial situation where you can apply that 20 percent reduction to a tip, that’d be awfully nice for the people making and packing up your food.
One other cool thing: Piatto has a small lobby. When you call to say you’re there, they’ll put the food in the lobby and you can come in and get it. Just one more way to practice social distancing and keep both yourself and Piatto staff healthy.
Piatto makes their own pasta. If that doesn’t seem like a big deal, I ought to point out that almost none of our local Italian restaurants make their own pasta. And if you don’t know the difference between fresh and dried pasta, order the ravioli appetizer ($15).
The ravioli are too big for a single bite, so even though there are six, you’ll all get a few bites. The pasta is tender and toothsome, the kind of satisfying chew that lets you know you’re eating something real. But, like magic, that chew breaks down immediately, never getting gummy or weird. The ravioli are made with three cheeses—ricotta, fontina, and Parmigiano Reggiano—and dressed with a walnut pesto that I would like to wear as a very weird cologne for a very special lady.
If that ravioli sounds like it’s enough to be a meal (it is), just go ahead and order it as such. The great thing with takeout is there’s no one to tell you which course is which. You’re the boss! (Sorry Tony, Angela, and Mona.)
When I’m depressed, I eat pasta, and let me tell you...I’m depressed! (Don’t worry, I have a therapist and medication.) So, when ordering from Piatto, I went for more more more pasta, to help carb away the tears.
The lamb meatballs with bucatini ($19) is a simple, straightforward take on the classic spaghetti and meatballs. Lamb is a tricky protein, but I was very impressed with how the chef got a nice sear on the outside of the meatballs while preserving the tenderness and moisture inside. Lamb also has a really pleasant gaminess to it. It’s enough to tell your brain, “Hey, this isn’t beef,” without ever getting weird or unpleasant. The marinara sauce is used sparingly, just enough to sauce the pasta, and the heat will melt the Parmigiano Reggiano by the time you get it home. Here’s a tip!
Take the meatballs out of the dish. Transfer the pasta and sauce to a small saucepan over low heat on the stove. Add juuuuust a bit of water to loosen the pasta, sauce, and cheese up and bring it up to temp. Return it to your plate, add the meatballs back, and enjoy!
My lovely quarantine date ordered the pork sugo ($20), which is rigatoni pasta (think ziti, but fatter) tossed with pork ragu and pecorino romano cheese. Rigatoni is an inspired choice, because those big holes and edges are perfect to catch the shredded pork sauce as you drag your fork up to your mouth.
Portion sizes are plenty big on entrees, which means you’ll likely have at least a second meal out of it. Plus, they serve a lovely flatbread and olive oil combo, which will only increase your delicious carb intake.
Second only to pasta on Greg’s Depression Diet (look for the book never!) is chocolate, so I was VEEEEERY pleased to see the chocolate tart ($9) on the dessert menu. It’s almost as rich as most of us aren’t. A lovely crisp crust, layered with a sturdy chocolate mousse, studded with crushed hazelnuts and a dollop of whipped cream.
It’s a perfect dessert for two, because after a few bites (especially if you ate a bunch of pasta right before), you’ll be sated and stuffed.
Packaging was nice. The metal tins make reheating in the oven easy (do remove the plastic cover, though) and, bonus, you can wash them off and use them again if you’re so inclined.
If you’d like more Take Me Out reviews, please consider dropping $1 in the old Patreon bucket. For every $25 contributed, that’s another review each month. If you can’t afford it, hey, no shame. I just hope you enjoy reading these.