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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

Puccini's provides dessert worth the money

A few nights ago, I wanted to treat my girlfriend to a romantic evening. To start things off, I figured a good Italian restaurant would set the mood for the whole night. \nWhen I say a good Italian restaurant, I am not just referring to the food. Food is essential, but I was also looking for a restaurant with the perfect ambience. \nI heard Puccini's was the perfect place to go on a date. Once inside the door, I saw what people where talking about. Puccini's has the perfect atmosphere for a date.\nTo begin with, Puccini's location in a converted`house instantly creates a cozy feeling because you are seated in a small room instead of a giant dining hall. On top of this, tasteful Italian artwork adorns the walls. The tables are set with white linen tablecloths -- always a nice touch. Finally, candles give off a romantic mellow glow, which further adds to the romantic setting.\nIf the food matched the atmosphere, Puccini's would easily be one of the top restaurants in Bloomington. Alas, this was not the case. \nWe began our meals with bruschetta. Bruschetta is a great appetizer; good crusty bread is toasted with a little olive oil and then topped with a mixture of chopped tomatoes, onion, and fresh herbs.\nThe bruschetta was one of the highlights of the meal. Rich in flavor, the tomatoes were fresh and prepared nicely, the bread was high quality and toasted golden brown. Overall, I don't think I have ever tasted better.\nThis created high expectations for the main course. For this course, I had penne with a Bolognese sauce. Bolognese is a meat sauce in which Italian sausage and ground beef are added to tomatoes and simmered into a delicious sauce. \nBolognese sauce is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, Puccini's Bolognese tasted as if a strong wine vinegar or a red wine that went bad was used in the base. The sour taste conflicted with the natural tastes of the meat and tomatoes. \nOn top of this, there was nothing exciting about the pasta. The same garden variety can be prepared from a box from the supermarket. Although cooked well (the pasta was nice and firm), for the prices that Puccini's charges, I expected better.\nFor dessert, my girlfriend and I split an order of tiramisu. Tiramisu is a combination of ladyfingers soaked in rum or brandy, espresso, and a creamy mixture that creates a sweet filling layer. \nThe tiramisu was wonderful. The usual problem with this dish is that the liquor may overpower the tastes of the espresso and ladyfingers. This was not the case; all the different flavors were able to blend nicely. The cream layers were sweet and light. I would highly recommend this dessert.\nOverall, I would say Puccini's La Dolce Vita is a great place to get coffee and dessert. Because of the ambience and solid appetizers and desserts, Puccini's has some good qualities. But without good main courses, I would recommend looking elsewhere for dinner. $40 should buy you more than a poor excuse for pasta.

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