Review by Kathleen Becker
After wanting to go to Ganzo for a meal for a while, I finally made time and went with two other friends. We sat for two hours and ate a “small bite” plate, antipasti, and a first course, then shared a dessert. The initial food brought out was “Braised artichoke with lemon.” It involved a serving of artichokes on bread, with lemon juice and a small bite of spinach next to the artichoke and bread for presentation. The plating was quite nice. The artichoke was wonderfully cooked, and was my favorite dish because of the freshness of the flavor. I also really liked the pairing of artichoke with lemon. I thought it was a unique take on what is a traditional dish.
The antipasto that I ordered was Cod fish croquettes with spicy tomato sauce. They were wonderful. I liked them because they were fresh and cooked just the right amount. Although they were fried they were not heavy, and the cod tasted fresh; it paired surprisingly well with the tomato sauce. Because the menu referred to the sauce as “spicy tomato sauce,” I was a little weary of what to expect. However, I found that the spice was not overpowering, and added just enough extra flavor to merely enhance the dish. I also had a bite of what my friends ordered, a vegetable soup with onions, asparagus, potatoes, and egg, along with a bite of eggplant parmesan with tomato sauce. The soup was not my favorite, only because it had a poached egg in the broth, and I don’t like the flavor of eggs. The eggplant parmesan however, was very delicious. I haven’t had eggplant parmesan since I arrived in Italy, and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. It was fresh and flavorful. However, my favorite dish remains the croquettes because of how well they were fried and the fresh fish.
The next course was risotto alla Milanese, a cheesy saffron risotto dish. Although I would overall consider this dish very good, it was not my favorite merely for seeming too overly salty. I usually like somewhat salty things but the pairing of the cheese, saffron, and salt made the dish seem less delicate than the others. However, overall I would recommend this dish, I would have just preferred less salt and more spice. My friend ordered the Trofie pasta with basil pesto. Although I am not a fan of pesto, I could appreciate the flavors and how well the pasta was cooked.
For dessert we ordered a chocolate cake with rum that had lady fingers acting as a layer within the cake. The chocolate cake was very good, although the rum flavor was a bit strong. The chocolate mousse on top of the cake was decadent, and the vanilla bottom along with the layer of cookies gave a nice supporting flavor to the dark chocolate, allowing the dish to refrain from being too heavy.
The service was also very good. Being a student run restaurant, I was very impressed with how professional the staff remained and the quality of the service. I could tell that Ganzo has a very high set standard for their restaurant, which is maintained by their food and service. All the staff members who I interacted with were very kind, knowledgable, and helpful. I was also thankful with our server’s patience with us, as the menu has so many options it took us a while to decide. There are plenty of vegetarian and healthy options, however there is a wide range of choices. I also learned that the menu changes every couple of weeks or so, which is nice for people who come there often.
This is definitely a place that I would come back to. Not only for the good food, service, but also the reasonable prices and ambiance. Being a non-profit restaurant, the prices are very reasonable and one can truly know that they are not being ripped off. The ambiance within the restaurant is honestly beautiful, because it’s like eating lunch in a little art gallery. When we were there, the current art exhibition featured photographs framed in a gallery-type style all throughout the clean, white, and homey restaurants. I would definitely recommend Ganzo to other people, especially their vegetarian offerings. I will be returning soon, and often throughout the rest of the semester.

Via dei Macci 85/red
Tel.: 055 241076
Hours: Monday-Friday 12:00pm-midnight; Lunch 12:00-2:30pm; Dinner 7:00-10:30pm. Small bites available from 3:00-6:00pm. Closed Weekends