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Ristorante Da Vinci

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Bahnhofstraße 29 69115 Heidelberg

Da Vinci is synonymous with innovation, creativity, and artistic genius.  Any Italian restaurant that adopts the name of this true Renaissance man immediately assumes high expectations on all fronts.  The ambiance, service, presentation, and, most importantly, the food needs to be topnotch.  Although Ristorante Da Vinci in Heidelberg offers creative dishes on its changing menu, not everything here is a work of art.

 

The interior is simple and modern, yet cozy and pleasant.  Upon entering the doors, you are met with two Roman style pillars essentially directing you to the wide bar area.  Diverging out on each side, dining tables fill up the rest of the area.  Brown cushioned booth style seating line the walls.  Red padded seats provide an alternative.  The tablecloth covered tables are clean and set up with white folded napkins and utensils awaiting each diner.  Red roses sit at each table, accompanied by a lit candle.  The flower matches the red, black, and white color scheme of the interior.  The walls are bare white, clean and straightforward.  There is plenty of lighting coming from the outside and the ceiling lights.  Aside from some plants and round silver ornaments along the window sills, furnishings are nonexistent.  The simplistic nature of the restaurant creates this relaxed and calming ambiance.

On the menu are various salads, an assortment of pastas (spaghetti and tagliatelle, to name a few), pizzas, oven baked items including lasagnas, and hearty meat dishes.  Specials are included as a separate attachment inside the booklet.  There are also daily specialties written on chalkboards both inside and outside of the restaurant.  The wine list is extensive and there are quite a few wine bottles and alcoholic containers sitting behind the bar counter.  Drinks include your standard selection of warm and cold beverages.

 

Like several Italian restaurants, you are given a complimentary starter at Da Vinci.  Today, it was Italian bread in a basket.  The rustic bread has a thick, crunchy crust; the inside a spongy texture that’s perfect for soaking up sauce.  Whatever you are given, it’s undoubtedly a good way to begin any meal at Da Vinci.

 

But instead of an artistic masterpiece, the Lasagne de Pesce is a gooey mess.  Lasagna is supposed to be hearty and thick.  The size of the dish here leaves a lot to be desired.  What happened to the traditional method of making lasagna?  Alternating layers of noodles, cheese, sauce, and filling seems to have been replaced with basic layers of pasta and filling.   Sadly, even the filling is neglected.  Tiny pieces of salmon and chopped spinach are unevenly distributed amongst the many layers of pasta.

At times, all you get are empty sheets of noodle.  The cheese and sauce are on the outside looking in, pleading to help.  In order to fully enjoy the flavors, you have to coat each lasagna bite in the cheese sauce.  Yet, the flavor combinations don’t dance as well as they should.  The salmon takes a back seat; the pasta and cheeses dominate the dish like Mac & Cheese.  During today’s visit, there was even a startling discovery hidden under the thick cheese topping – an entire bay leaf that survived the cooking process.  At 11,50 €, the Lasagne de Pesce definitely deserves a makeover.

 

Luckily, the desserts shine at Da Vinci.  There is a good selection of traditional Italian sweets – tiramisu, panna cotta, gelato, and cassata sicillana.  The cassata sicillana, priced at 5,00 €, is not made traditional style.  Instead of cake, this decadent sweet is made up of Italian ice cream and cream, with pieces of candied fruit sparsely scattered throughout, and topped with milk chocolate.  Presentation is fantastic.  Da Vinci would surely be proud.  Sliced fresh fruits create a perimeter around the dessert and add a nice contrast to the candied pieces within.  Not overly sweet, the cassata is a dreamy way to put an end to your Italian meal.

With its posh interior, efficient service, and recognizable name, you would expect a lot more from this restaurant.  With a few minor adjustments, Da Vinci could easily become one of the better Italian restaurants in Heidelberg.

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Summary:

Hidden behind the Bauhaus in Heidelberg, Da Vinci serves up decent Italian cuisine at reasonable prices.  Outdoor seating available on beautiful days.  Look for daily specials on the chalkboards.

Overall – 3.5 stars

  • Lasagne de Pesce – 2.5/5
  • Cassata Sicillana – 4.5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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Written by geschmack

May 15th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

One Response to 'Ristorante Da Vinci'

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  1. poor testing!

    interieur summary is quite good, but testing/grading the restaurant with just one main dish, and a dessert thats obviously extreme basic (and not homemade) for all italian restaurants these days is just poor..

    testing score
    overall – 2/5 stars!

    Saber Rider

    28 Oct 10 at 2:52 pm

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