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Quattro Gatti Ristorante e Pizzeria

4.6 976 votes

908 Congress Avenue

(512) 476-3131

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Quattro Gatti Ristorante e Pizzeria # 12 Austin Restaurant
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Ivan Collins Last updated on Jun 18, 2022 by

We had a wonderful evening out at Quattro Gatti Ristorante e Pizzeria. Personally, I’ve found a new love for small footprint, family-owned mom and pop run Italian restaurants since visiting Rome a couple of years back. I’ve also been on the hunt for a new favorite spot since Botticelli's on South Congress closed and Quattro Gatti fills the void nicely. I didn’t get a chance to meet the owners and their website is missing any significant back story, but a little research says the owner, Gianfranco Mastrangelo, was born in Jersey City and grew up in the restaurant business working in NYC where his family owns a spot on the upper East side. If you’ve ventured into the NYC Italian restaurant scene, that's about as close as it gets to the pinnacle of a culinary education, perhaps bested only by Italy itself.

Our Crew Out Front of Quattro Gattis

A Unique Location

One of the more unique features of Quattro Gatti is masked in its location. Sitting on Congress between 9th and 10th, it’s a downtown restaurant but somehow absent of all the chaos that frequently comes with downtown dining. The name translates to Four Cats which is an Italian expression for small groups. We were celebrating a friend's birthday and had four couples getting together on a Friday night. All four cats in our group chimed that they were able to find parking easily within a block of the restaurant. We had a reservation, but with a party that size we still had to wait to get a table put together. That wasn't a bother as we all enjoyed drinks lounging around outside on the patio where we eventually sat. Most ordered Negronis, a popular Italian cocktail, but I ordered martinis to match the city feel of the dining environment as you’re in a classic area of downtown. The girls even got a group photo in front of the state capitol and my wife and our baby did too, both of which were Instagram worthy moments that sort of highlighted the energy associated with the Capitol view and downtown dining experience, surreally juxtaposed with the calm of being off the beaten path.

The Menu at Quattro Gatti

Quattro Gatti features a brief menu of 4 antipastas, 3 salads, 8 wood fired brick oven pizzas, 6 primi dishes, and 6 secondi dishes. If you’re wondering what primis and secondis are exactly, they’re designed to be a first and second course common to the 4 course meal frequently suggested on restaurant menus located in indulging, romantic cultures. Primis are smaller, cheaper pasta dishes that you can easily share and secondis are the bigger, higher priced items that often include a steak, pork, or fish highlight. We ordered a round of appetizers for the table that included a couple orders of focaccia bread ($6.50), a couple of burratas (daily special), and a calamari ($12.50). That went a long way to satiating our crew, but everyone also ordered a dish.  I went with the Spaghetti Carbonara as I've been sampling it at different Italian spots around the city and thought the flavor was spot on with a notably higher quality and richer flavored pancetta than recent endeavors. The sauce was a little thinner than I’m used to, but overall it was top notch. Unfortunately, with the birthday event I wasn’t able to snap photos of the dishes everyone else ordered, so I can't expand too much there. But that just creates an opportunity to go back and get a second serving so I can add depth to this review. 

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