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Reminder Publication - Dining Review
By Sarah M. Corigliano
Reminder Publication - Dining Review
By Sarah M. Corigliano
EAST LONGMEADOW – There comes a point in every good meal when you have to decide if you’re continuing to eat because you’re still hungry, or if it just tastes so good that you’d prefer to stuff yourself.
This was the problem I encountered at Villa Napoletana in East Longmeadow. My boyfriend, David, and I had not officially been out for his birthday, which passed in mid-January, so last Saturday we decided to go out somewhere new to celebrate.
We had not made reservations, but the 15 minutes we spent waiting for a table were passed with a great margarita in Villa Napoletana’s bar area. And let me emphasize here that it really was a good margarita - too many bars make them so sour they leave you with heartburn, or they give you too much this, or too much that (not that I drink a lot of margaritas). However, this was a well-balanced margarita.
David and I also didn’t mind the wait because there was live music by George Govoni on vocals and Mark Davis on the keyboard, and they were performing some of my favorite old songs made famous by people like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jimmy Durante and the like.
When we were brought to our table it was in a newly renovated room in view of a wall-size mural depicting musical and food-related themes. How appropriate.
Our server, Michael, was attentive and accurate, but not overbearing.
Choosing an appetizer was easy because neither Dave nor I have a sophisticated palate when it comes to seafood. Forgoing calamari, zuppa di clams, salmon, and other popular Italian offerings, we went straight for the panzanella ($5.95) – fresh Italian bread lightly toasted with olive oil, garlic and herbs and topped with fresh diced tomatoes and basil. It was nice not only in flavor, but also in texture; even though it was made with a traditionally crusty bread, it was fresh and soft, and easily handled with a fork and knife, thus preventing any embarrassing incidents of flying bread.
The menu was slightly daunting – offering diverse selections of meat, seafood, chicken and salads – but I finally narrowed it down to two choices.
David had no problem deciding on Pasta al Forno for his dinner. I was torn between stuffed Chicken Florentine or Penne Gorgonzola, and I ultimately decided on the latter.
We each also had a salad before our meals came. These were simple but good plates of fresh greens, purple onion rings and cherry tomatoes with a great house Italian dressing. The salads were served with fresh, warm bread with olive oil for dipping. Mama mia, we had to take it easy at this point because our meals were still on their way.
The Pasta al Forno ($12.95) featured penne pasta baked with ricotta cheese, mild Italian sausage, marinara sauce, herbs and mozzarella. David noted that the flavors all blended well together creating a really fresh taste, and that the serving size was very generous.
The Penne Gorgonzola ($14.95) was delicious. The dish consisted of penne pasta, a delicious, slightly sharp gorgonzola cheese sauce, roasted red peppers, julienne chicken, mushrooms, herbs and ... broccoli. Now, I’ll be honest – I asked for the dish to be made without broccoli and I was accommodated without hesitation. I’m sure people think I missed out on something by removing the beloved vegetable from the dish, but the chef made no complaints and I was very happy with the fresh roasted red pepper flavor.
Normally I consider it a sin to share dessert, but since David and I had barely saved any room for it, we decided to share a cannoli ($4). It was lovely. Sometimes I think I could live on cannolis – a heavenly blend of mascarpone (or ricotta), cinnamon, powdered sugar, and pastry (sigh).
Villa Napoletana is located at 666 (yes, that’s the right number) North Main St., East Longmeadow. The restaurant can be reached at 732-9300.
- Originally printed in Reminder Publication, Inc. -
Just a line to thank you most sincerely for the very fine dinners I enjoyed at your restaurant when I recently visited my cousin in Springfield.
Open For Dinner Monday Through Saturday At 4:00PM
"Open For Dinner Monday Through Saturday At 4:00PM"
It seems as though there are Italian restaurants of every size, price range and specialty in each community. To be exceptional and to stand out from all the rest, it must have something really special going for it. Villa Napoletana has simply the best food and service which is served in a relaxed and warm atmosphere.
The owners of this fine establishment are both gracious and proud. They pamper their patrons with TLC and exceptional old-style Italian cuisine. Their menu is more than complete, from homemade pasta, sauces and oven-baked bread to garden fresh salads and tantalizing daily specials sure to please the entire family. You can always count on hearty portions, modest prices and mouth-watering home-style Italian food when you dine at Villa Napoletana. They also feature an extensive wine list and cocktail bar. Enjoy live entertainment every Friday and Saturday evening. If you still have a bit of room after dinner, enjoy their scrumptious desserts such as cannoli, tiramisu and various cakes. Top off the evening with a cup of cappuccino or espresso. They are truly a finish to a great meal.
Villa Napoletana is located in East Longmeadow at 664 North Main St, phone 732-9300. Treat yourself and your family and stop by.
Thank you very much for your generous donation to help support our grandson's fundraiser.
Dear Owner/Manager, We would like to thank Kyle for a lovely experience.
The Our Lady of Grace Committee would like you to know that we greatly appreciate what you did for us in allowing us to hold our Vigil Dinner at your restaurant.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to you and your staff for the fine dining experience that I had on February 13, 2004.
Thank you for your thoughtful support of Baystate Medical Center through the Baystate Health Foundation.
Our sincere gratitude to both of you for your kind invitation to celebrate the wine tasting the past Nov 2, 2005.
Once again, the Women's League for the Arts would like to thank you for your support.