I was admittedly primed to love Testa Barra, because when I rolled up there for dinner back in July not long after the then-new restaurant had opened, I saw working there that night not one, not two, but three people I knew from my bygone serving glory days (two former coworkers and a friend I’d met tangentially from us serving at the same place at different times). AND I was dining with a friend who I also knew from said time period. So basically, I was revving high on excitement and nostalgia and getting to catch up with four beloved people all at once; given my ecstatic state, I probably could have eaten cardboard soaked in rubbing alcohol and given it two enthusiastic thumbs up.
Fortunately, the meal I partook in that night at Testa Barra, the Italian restaurant opened this year by the Baldwin Restaurant Group (owners of J. Baldwin’s in Clinton Township), was incredibly delicious in its own right – not simply rose-colored by my overzealous “Those were the days!” reminiscences about my serving shenanigans.
Sitting in the pretty glassed-in porch area of the restaurant dotted with succulent plants and festooned with strands of lights, we started with an arancini appetizer, fried balls of creamy, cheesy rice that were pure goodness. I continued on with the pasta Bolognese: handmade strozzapretti (kind of a twisty tube-noodle) topped with a rich, spicy, flavorful Cabernet-infused beef pasta sauce and ample amounts of ricotta cheese. SO GOOD and a definite far cry from cardboard soaked in rubbing alcohol! And for dessert, I savored some of my friend’s vanilla gelato garnished with crushed biscotti cookies.
My verdict, then, is that the food at Testa Barra is highly delectable in its own right – which is good, because in all seriousness, I wouldn’t return of my own volition to a restaurant with meh food no matter how many people I knew who worked there. I mean, there are far too many superior restaurants in the Metro-D for that!
48824 Romeo Plank Rd.
Macomb, MI 48044