Trattoria Piatto on Pomfret Street is one of the many culinary oases in downtown Carlisle. Nestled within a 1860s Victorian townhouse, the restaurant provides quaint dining areas inside by the fireplace, outside on the patio, or in the conservatory. With a focus on simple, authentic Italian dishes, the culinary team at Piatto works to blend imported Italian ingredients with produce sourced from local farmers, with whom they have been working with since the restaurant opened twenty years ago. My mother was born in the south of Italy, where the focus lies on fish, vegetables, whole grain breads and pastas and as with the whole of Italy, cheese and olive oil - I have found a little piece of home in Carlisle, PA with this restaurant!
Trattoria Piatto is where I go for handmade pasta during the spring and traditional meat dishes during winter. In the spring, Piatto’s conservatory is one of my favorite spots to watch the world go by, while enjoying the house made, warm bread dipped in oil. The hand rolled, short trofie pasta with green beans, fingerling potatoes and tossed with fresh pesto is one of my favorites primi plates, the pasta is served perfectly aldente, the beans are tender and the pesto it just a touch nutty. (I prefer it without the potatoes so I am not too full for dessert!) In October, the menu includes a butternut squash risotto with sage butter, that is really enough for two, but if you are in the mood for an Italian-style harvest meal, it is a must! A plate of the pollo saltimbocca alla Romana by the fire in the winter is a treat and the perfect way to stay warm. Chicken sautéed with prosciutto and sage, enveloped in a marsala wine reduction served with vegetables and grilled parmesan polenta – doesn’t get much better than salty and rich, mixed with creamy carbs; especially if you are sitting in the intimate parlor by the fireplace.
If you have room for dessert, the tiramisu and panna cotta frutti di bosco (berry compote over cooked cream) are my favorites, as well as the house made gelati and sorbets. The menu and the execution are both orchestrated by a culinary team with a chef at the helm who has a true understanding of Italian cuisine and its’ spirit of simplicity.
Savanna is a junior at Dickinson College, studying Political Science and Security Studies. Australian-born and California raised, Savanna sought out the quintessential college town and found it in Carlisle, PA. She is the programs coordinator Intern at the Stuart House Salvation Army downtown and works as a writing associate for students on campus as well as international fellows at the Army War College. She serves as an all-college senator, working to create, fund and support events for students in Carlisle and the surrounding area. In her free time, she can be found reading on Rush campus, wandering around downtown Carlisle or shopping at Farmers' on the Square!