By Todd Barron @ FoodieCuisine.com
It’s late and the Sushi Cafe has an hour wait. We drive back towards I-430 and stop along the way at Graffitis Italian in Little Rock, Arkansas. Graffitis Italian has been around for many years and it has been about 20 years since I visited. We do not have reservations but are seated immediately upon arrival. The place is decently busy given the time of night and has a dark, comforting feel to it.
My wife and I order the Escargot Appetizer and the Meatball Appetizer to get things started. While we wait on appetizers we order the Pasta Special and the Fettuccine with Seafood for dinner. We are sure to receive too much food but who says we have to eat it all. That is what they have to-go boxes for right?
The escargot arrives and is based in a creamy red sauce. I’m quite surprised as I expected escargot in a garlic-butter sauce but it looks good nonetheless. Sure enough, it is tender, cooked well, and has a good flavor to it. I prefer the garlic-butter variety of the dish but find this one interesting and worthwhile.
The meatballs arrive at the same time as the escargot and are tasty but very salty. I enjoy the red sauce they are covered in but cannot get past the overbearing saltiness. Although I enjoy them, the appetizer dooms my palette for my entree.
The Fettuccine with Seafood arrives, along with the pasta special, and is stacked with several large scallops. I ordered extra scallops instead of shrimp and the kitchen delivered! The fettuccine is cooked properly, with just enough bite to it and not mushy. The scallops on the other hand are huge, but are not seared at all. They also lack any flavor. In fact, I can barely taste anything in the dish. I am not sure if the salt from the meatballs overpowered my palette or what, but I end up adding copious amounts of salt and pepper to my food. It is unfortunate, as there is a ton of seafood in the pasta, but it has no seasoning. I wish I could pan-fry some scallops in the kitchen to show them what they are doing wrong, but that is not my job. I eat a few bites and take the rest to-go.
Although the Fettuccine with Seafood was flavorless, I did enjoy the experience. I just won’t order meatballs again, or the seafood fettuccine. Next time I may try the lasagna.