Simple laziness has spurred many culinary inventions, including the sandwich, the blender, and the pizza, which was invented as a way to wheel heavy ingredients from place to place. Transport your palate with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of fine Italian cusine at Trattoria Rustica in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
To perfect his menu, Trattoria Rustica’s chef and proprietor Davide Manzo culls from locally grown produce, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats, and an artistry honed as a third-generation restaurateur raised in Pompeii. Antipasto di verdure, a house specialty, greets hungry visitors with a hearty assortment of grilled eggplant, zucchini, and fennel facing legions of peppers, sundried tomatoes, and olives, the ancestral currency of Italy ($10 for small; $20 for large). Gemelli alla sorrentina ($24) satisfies noodle yearnings with fresh gemelli pasta baked in a beehive-style wood-fire oven by chefs wearing beehive hairstyles, then dressed with fresh mozzarella, pecorino cheese, and tomato sauce. Alternatively, diners can feast on one of Trattoria Rustica’s sumptuous secondi courses, such as bronzino alla brace, featuring a whole Mediterranean sea bass stuffed with parsley and garlic ($31), or the vitello alla siciliana, which pairs a lightly-floured and sautéed top round of Cedar Springs veal with roasted red peppers, porcini, and portobello mushrooms in a marsala wine sauce.
House-made bread baked fresh daily in the brick oven accompanies each culinary creation. Crusty cuts also make nice canvases for tomato-sauce recreations of Trattoria Rustica’s authentic Neapolitan artwork and intimate interior hand-built by the proprietor.