Bertucci’s Fake Risotto

That’s right, I’m calling you out, Bertucci’s.

We went out this evening for a special, early Valentine’s Day dinner. I ordered the Shrimp and Butternut Squash Risotto, a special for this week only, apparently. I eagerly awaited my dish, as so few restaurants around here even offer risotto and I’m a huge fan of it. I love cooking my own risotto, sometimes a shrimp and asparagus one, sometimes a butternut squash one, but never the two together. So that in and of itself was a rare treat.

The dish arrived and I was a little disappointed. First off, for an $18 plate, the portion size was rather small. Presentation-wise, if you’re going to give a portion like that, at least use a smaller dish to serve it on so it looks bigger. Secondly, Bertucci’s is always heavy-handed when it comes to their black pepper, and this dish was no exception. Too much pepper is not a good thing, especially in a dish as delicate in flavor as risotto. Thirdly, risotto is supposed to be creamy, by the addition of butter and Parmesan cheese, of which this dish, certainly was not creamy in the least.

Finally, risotto is a rice dish made with Arborio rice, a SHORT GRAIN rice–an ingredient that also contributes to the dish’s creamy nature. This dish was made with long grain rice. So, Bertucci’s, please don’t try to pass off what amounts to little more than a decorative pilaf as a risotto. Because it’s not. Maybe you can get away with it with the public at large, but serious foodies are definitely going to know the difference.

As for me, the next time they offer this limited-time special, I’ll gladly decline.

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