So, I wasn’t expecting much. I found the actual Italian food here fairly lackluster and I’m not really a salad guy. Color me surprised; this is the best damn salad I’ve ever had in my life. See, this plays right into my theory about this journey, which is that if there’s a food item I don’t particularly like, a salad for instance, it’s only because I’ve never had a good one, had one done right, you know. Well, this is the salad done absolutely right. The secret is really in the dressing, Martinelli’s own recipe. The salad is really slathered in it and it’s absolutely wonderful, tangy, a little bit sweet, just perfectly balanced. Also the best dressing I’ve ever had, obviously. But the vegetables in the salad are fresh to perfection; the lettuce, a pretty typical point of contention with me and salads, was everything it needed to be, not at all papery or dry as you find in a lot of salads at restaurants. Little pieces of cheese and perfectly crafted bacon bits, of actual bacon unless they’ve really improved the fake variety since I had it last, crisped just the way I liked it and just slightly bigger than most. Carrot slices, bits of tomato, etc. But all just absolutely perfect. Chalk one up for my theory: I would have just said prior to this that I didn’t like salad; turns out I just like good salad. I’m blown away all over again just thinking about it. I love Italian food, but what gets the high rating at this Italian place? The salad. I never would have believed prior to this that a salad would ever get my highest ranking, but this one does. Go out of your way if you have to; this one is an essential dish. 4 stars.
tl;dr – restaurant’s special dressing, incredibly fresh vegetables and real bacon add up to what may just be the best salad in the world. 4 stars.