2003 BEST Italian Restaurant
If dining is theater, then Teatro is the consummate Italian drama. Scene One: bold openers like over-the-top fresh antipasti and simple, but intensely flavored, steamed black mussels swimming in a smoky tomato and pesto sauce. Scene Two: The opus continues with such northern Italian minimasterpieces as fig-glazed duck legs atop a luscious mascarpone polenta, and a brightly flavored veal saltimbocca with prosciutto and creamed spinach. Studied performances by a fast and well-trained waitstaff, a superb list of Italian wines, and the fluid direction of Mistral’s Jamie Mammano further elevate the staging. Then there’s the set: the revamped former Galleria Italiana, electrified with a swanky, modern pale blue ceiling that arches over limestone walls and intricate terrazzo floors. All in all, a five-star production.