Once upon a time, within residing memory for a lot of us, Italian dining intended hearty, crimson-sauced pasta, garlic bread, perhaps a touch lasagna and pretend ivy on the ceiling.
Then, much like that, back inside the ‘70s, Italian went upscale. Before we knew it, we have been all gaga approximately what we called Northern Italian cuisine, with nary a drop of marinara in sight.
But in our hearts we understand we still crave the comforting, antique-school, family-style Italian-American fare, don’t we? If you’re all at once craving some ravioli or bird parm — and pizza of direction — then here’s my advice: Head for Milantoni Italian Restaurant and Mangia, Mangia, mangia!
It’s no longer tough to get into Milantoni, but you have to keep your eyes open. Head south on Hurstbourne Parkway — you could’t get across the median barrier from the northbound facet. Cross underneath Interstate sixty-four, beyond the first of all-ramp and quick, earlier than you reach the second one off-ramp, hook right through a provider station to Milantoni’s aspect door.
The constructing, as soon as a quick-meals eatery, extra currently housed Erika’s German eating place. But while you step internal and spot a wooded area of plastic ivy draped over white latticework and tables clad in joyful pink-and-white checkered tablecloths, you’ll recognize you’ve found Italian the manner Italian was once.
The sizeable menu covers many conventional circles of relatives-Italian dishes. Sixteen pasta dinners variety from $7.99 (for cheese ravioli) to $thirteen.Ninety-nine (for several dishes such as ravioli Grande-E-Ole, full of 4 kinds of cheese and topped with three sauces). Eleven pizzas are to be had using the slice or in 14- and 16-inch pies and are from $4.59 (for a cheese slice) to $sixteen.99 (for a big meat-lover’s pie). A dozen soccer-length calzones are more often than not $7.99, with a few strong point objects at $eight.Ninety-nine or $9.Ninety-nine.
Are you looking for the fancier fare? A dozen seafood plates and Milanese specialties variety from $eleven.95 (for chicken with greens) to $17.Ninety five (for a Mediterraneo plate with five styles of shellfish). Traditional veal dishes, also to be had with chicken, are $12.99 for parmigiana to $15.99 for piccata or cacciatore.
Appetizers, sandwiches, and salads variety from $five.Ninety five (for mozzarella sticks) to $10.49 (for a chicken BLT salad). There’s also a short listing of vegetarian specialties (even though many dishes at the regular menu also are meat unfastened) and a quick menu for those 12 and younger.
A lunch specials menu, supplied until 2 p.M., capabilities a dozen Italian requirements, all $7.99 keep for a $9 — ninety nine salmon salad.
Short beer and wine lists also are to be had, along with Pepsi products, espresso and tea.
Milantoni makes its own pizza dough, and the same dough is used for the complimentary serving of thin, toasty garlic bread topped with herbs and grated cheese that starts offevolved your meal. An accompanying crock of marinara sauce turned into a little too thick, sweet and fragrant with dried herbs for my flavor during a dinner go to; the batch served while we returned for lunch any other day was higher balanced and appetizing.
Ravioli ($7.Ninety nine, add $2 if you need it on top of spaghetti) took me proper back to Little Italy. Heavy blankets of deeply flavored, spicy tomato sauce under molten mozzarella concealed more than one cheese-stuffed ravioli. It gave the impression of an excessive amount of to finish; it was so excellent that we finished it anyway.
An order of meatballs ($2) was offered precisely the identical way because of the ravioli, hidden underneath a flood of tomato sauce and melted the mozzarella. Once excavated they have been three firms, finely ground golfing ball-length spheres.
Fettuccine alfredo ($nine.Ninety nine) turned into first-rate. The pasta became firm and toothy al dente and but silken; its sauce was tacky and easy. And, then, there’s the signature pasta Milantoni ($thirteen.99) which begins with that first-class alfredo and kicks it up with chopped chook breast meat, nice-sliced mushrooms, and peas.
Back for lunch any other day, we attempted a 14-inch pizza Margherita ($12.99) and a slice of 3-cheese white pizza ($five.99). Both were constructed on a reasonably thick (1/2-inch), bread-like crust and pulled from the oven while the rims have been nevertheless faded and missing tasty darkish spots. The Margherita pie became painted with a discreet splash of tomato sauce, then a thick, heavy mozzarella coat and topped with chunks of out-of-season tomato and a few small, sparkling basil leaves. The white slice became huge, as big as an entire small pie and bore a melted blend of ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan on a garlic-scented base.
Dinner for 2 became a less costly $24.34, plus $5 tip. Pizza lunch for 2 came to $22.77 plus $5 tip. •