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Spotlight: Scott Joseph Reviews Saporito

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Photo courtesy of Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide

Photo courtesy of Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide

This review is abridged for broadcast. Find the full version of the review at Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide on this page.

For some reason the name Saporito sounds like it would be Japanese takeout place.

But, no, it’s an Italian restaurant, and a very pleasant one at that.

Or should I say a tasty one, for Saporito is tasty in Italian.

Remember the Slow Food Movement? It sort of faded when people embraced farm-to-table as their preferred buzzphrase.

But Saporito proudly embraces the Slow Food philosophy. And it’s not like we’re comparing organic apples to locally-grown oranges. A well-crafted red sauce by any other name would taste as luscious.

My dinner companion and I each chose a dish that we consider to be exemplars of a good Italian restaurant. For me it was the Lasagna alla Bolognese; my friend chose the Pollo alla Parmigiana.

A restaurant serving a lasagna that did not obviously come thawed from an aluminum pan container is a good beginning. Saporito’s went well beyond that. It was presented more in the style of a Romanesque lasagna, the sheets of pasta loosely layered on the plate with strati of seasoned ground beef and tomato sauce, plus a bit of bechamel for extra richness.

The parmigiana was as equally well executed. The chicken cutlet was thicker than usual but the breading was light and well-crisped, a characteristic of a good parmigiana.

We both declared the restaurant had passed our Italian test markers.

Service was sincere but could use some guidance.

The atmosphere of Saporito is that of an Italian farmhouse, or as close as one can get to a farmhouse in a small strip mall storefront. Tables are bare wood with a bit of rustic look and chairs are metal. They’re not as uncomfortable as they look, but they don’t make you want to linger, either.

Which is unfortunate, because the food really does make you want to slow down and savor it.

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