Hours before a restaurant's doors open, cooks are already at their stations, chopping onions, simmering stocks, breaking down chickens, and so on. As much as possible is done in advance -- which is good, because long waits make for cranky guests. Efficiency and quality, however, don't always go hand in hand.
It takes twenty to thirty minutes to properly make risotto, a v-e-r-y long time if you're sitting at a table waiting for food. To shorten the wait, many chefs partially cook the rice, then finish it to order. However, as Andrea Frizzi, chef-owner of Il Posto, notes, the short-cut causes rice to "release and lose a lot of starch" -- which is bad, since starch is what gives this classic Italian dish its coveted creaminess.
I've had so much bad risotto over the years -- either overcooked and gummy or as dried out as fried rice -- I've all but stopped ordering it. But recent meals at Il Posto, where the risotto is made to order, have reminded me just how good risotto can be.
Il Posto is about to celebrate its six-year anniversary. Find out how the place has held up -- and how the rest of Frizzi's high-end Italian fare stacks up -- when my review is posted here tomorrow.
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And in the meantime, are there other items you've stopped ordering because you've had one too many disappointments? And if you still dare order risotto, where do you go? Share your thoughts with us below.