Italian cooking brings smiles everytime
Sometimes trying a new restaurant can be exciting. But sometimes you want something familiar, something that hasn't changed and that brings back mouthwatering memories as only a truly great dining experience can. Lately, those days where you need a warm embrace have fallen upon my belly.
Hearty, too-large helpings seemed just the ticket when Thomas and I were trying to decide what to eat one Tuesday. Usually it is a long – and I mean long – process to figure out a restaurant we both agree on, but once we decided some good ol' Italian cooking sounded just right, we skipped the chain restaurant fare all together and thought of the last local Italian spot that had our taste buds singing for more. The decision for Napolitano's was one of the easiest we have made in some time.
Nestled in the back of a small plaza off of 75th Street, Napolatano's set the stage for that comforting dining experience. When you walk in, not only are you greeted by a friendly face, but on being seated, you soak up that dimly-lit, Italian decor.
Also, to our delight, Tuesdays boasted a great deal: half-priced appetizers! Of course we had to try something new at a place we knew pretty well. Thomas commented how his mom made the best stromboli, so we tried the Stromboli Balls, which are filled with cheeses and pepperoni. As in this and most cases, however, Mom's cooking is always better. I think Thomas and I were both thrown by the flakiness of the bread, which was more like pastry then pizza.
My entrée selection was a no-brainer; keeping to the mindset that I wanted a familiar face, so to speak, I could not get the St. Jacob Sauté out of my head, image at top of this feature.. It boasts a myriad of some of my favorite pasta toppings such as artichoke, scallops, shrimp, tomatoes, Portobello mushrooms, and more. I think this was a case of the eyes being bigger than the stomach because, after the appetizer, a large salad and bread basket were whisked onto the small table. Similar to Olive Garden, we were served the communal serve-yourself salad bowl, which I prefer. The house salad dressing was delightfully light. I also greatly enjoyed the garlic bread. Even my dining companion, who does not typically lean towards that doughy delight, aided me in devouring almost the entire bread boat.
We were feeling pretty satiated with our food consumption when we realized our main courses hadn't even come out yet! On seeing the very loaded bowls of pasta delight approach the table, the aroma wafting into my nose, I suddenly found some room in my stomach for such an aesthetically pleasing entrée. Of course nothing is ever the same twice, from hairstyles to food, but it seemed as if my pasta did not have the same addictive flavor as previously. All the same items were in the pasta, yes, but something about the sauce was not as tasty. Perhaps it was the lack of artichoke or the overwhelming amount of scallops compared to the sparse amount of shrimp, but something about it was different. However, it is still a great pasta dish with some unique and delightful twists, especially the spinach fettuccine.
Although there was no room for dessert, I will certainly be back for it. They say presentation is everything, and to demonstrate the dessert selections available, a fresh tray of each item was brought to our table. As full as Thomas and I were, I almost ordered one of everything.
Napolitano's is a nice little spot for some comforting Italian when all you need is a familiar face, or dish!
The Pluses and Minuses of the Napolatano's:
Napolatano's (+) indicators: Good food, variety of menu items, a lot of food for the price, nice presentation, attentive servers.
Napolatano's (-) indicators: Not enough room on the small two-person table for all the food, a tad pricey for just any old meal out.
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sheri m Tuesday, 19 August 2014 10:55 Comment Link
Nappy’s has the best bbq chicken salad!!!!! Had one last night…………ate it all!