Sunday, May 10, 2009
Tonight the wife was in the mood for "something Italian", so we headed downtown and stopped in at Bianchi's Pizzeria. It's been a few months since we've been there but have always had positive experiences.
Bianchi's is located downtown in a very nicely renovated building that is contemporary and simple. Red and white checked table cloths, the brick ovens open to the dining area, a bit warm for us to sit outside, but a number of patrons had chosen to do so.
Tonight, I'll be honest, I was a little disappointed. They were operating with a skeleton crew and were noticeably short-handed. I know what you're thinking, 'Isn't it unfair to review a restaurant under those conditions?'. To a point, but if you're open you have a chance to make a positive or negative impression on a customer that could become a life-long patron. We didn't have service problems despite the small crew.
We decided on calzones which we've had there on other occasions. I ordered the Prosciutto and Gorgonzola Calzone, while my wife ordered the Shrimp and Scallop Calzone.
When they were brought to the table, there was a noticeable difference from the previous times we had eaten calzones there - portion size. The calzones were much smaller than I have ever seen them at Bianchi's. I understand the state of the economy, the price on the menu was unchanged, but I would rather pay a buck more and get a larger calzone.
A positive was the quality of the calzones have not suffered. My Prosciutto and Gorgonzola was very nice. The plating was simple with a cup of a creamy sauce for dipping.
Prosciutto and Gorgonzola are both very strong, distinct flavors and are probably better suited for a more "experienced" pallet. Despite not being as large as I would have liked, it was fresh, hot, creamy with a nice portion of both main ingredients. I have no complaints in the least about taste.
My wife's shrimp and scallop calzone was good, not great. The portion was also noticeably smaller than in the past and the scallops were a bit over-cooked. But, it too was hot, creamy and loaded with shrimp.
Bianchi's is Tom White's second venture in Hattiesburg, and it some times seems to be a stepchild to 206 Front. It's better than any chain, but it could be so much more, and for the price it should be. Now, I am not going to tell you that it's not a good place to eat, but I can't in good conscious tell you that it's a good value with the portion size we were served.