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Ristorante Al Boscheto
Eschenweg 3, Maintal Dörnigheim

Website: al-boschetto.eu

This is another example of discovering eateries from sources other than often unreliable guidebooks. This restaurant is not to be found in any of the usual sources of tourist info, but was recommended to us by Doris-Katharina Hessler (see the Seeing Stars section) as a suitable dining spot since her one-star Michelin establishment was closed the first night we stayed at her small hotel. Obviously there is no better restaurant recommendation than that of an accomplished chef.

The simple white-washed walls of the interior are adorned with colorful draperies and works of art. Service is both willing and cordial. The menu is printed in Italian with German subtitles. Prices are extremely reasonable, no entrée over $18.50, and the compact wine list marries well with the regional Italian cuisine.

The "Insalata Boschetto" makes a most suitable starter. Fresh greens are tossed with an excellent vinaigrette. Generous strips of cheese and ham and smattering of black olives are arranged around an epicenter of flaky tuna fish. If you'd prefer something a bit more luxurious to tickle the palate, the gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce is difficult to beat. The potato dumplings are ethereal and perfectly textured, and the sauce is rich and decadent. There are numerous other salad and pasta dishes available, as well as an appetizing array of pizzas.

Entrées are equally divided among meat, fish, and fowl, and all may be recommended. Since we were dining at Hessler the following evening, however, and anticipated a sumptuous feast, we decided that matters piscatorial might be the better part of valor. My wife chose the grilled monkfish, a moist and meaty filet that is presented with parsley potatoes and beautifully sautéed spinach. I opted for the halibut, which is complemented by a delicate white wine sauce.

Desserts round up the usual suspects: gelato, tiramisù, tartufo, panna cotta, etc. There is also a cheese course available.

If you are staying anywhere in the immediate Frankfurt area, and are looking for a casual Italian respite from German cuisine, Ristorante "Al Boschetto" will provide a most pleasant and satisfying evening at table.

The Artful Diner
November 2002

The Artful Diner is an independent, freelance food writer.  His latest review and an archive of past reviews for restaurants around the country and the world can be found on this site on the REVIEWS page.

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