Sunday, October 21, 2007

Restaurant: Sal Anthony's Lanza's

Before I say anything I should point out that I have a bias for this restaurant because I know the family who owns it, and I even used to work for them in some of their other cafes and restaurants, prior to the flagship Sal Anthony's closing. Not to mention the gyrotonics (with white sauce). Now that we have that out of the way, Lanza's is a classic example of Italian comfort food in a cozy setting like you parents or grandparents living room. The decor is old world Italian, with paintings on the wall of the original owners when it was opened in 1904 and murals of Italy. Plants, paper table cloths and a nice wooden bar complete the feel. They even have a garden in the back that not many people know about, where Italian music is piped in, and is amazing on a summer evening with a bowl of steamed mussels. The food itself is nothing fancy, just what you’d expect from this comfortable neighborhood spot. Classic pasta dishes accompany simple dishes like vegetable lasagna, chicken with a fennel cream sauce and trout with rosemary. I've pretty much had every dish on the menu and personally I love the spaghetti Lanza, which is a basic marinara with fresh cubes of mozzarella on top. Meatballs, frutti di mare, the aforementioned trout, chicken calabrese and any of the pastas, especially the salmon cream sauce or clams in white wine sauce are excellent. Appetizers are pretty standard fare with the fresh mozzarella plate, pasta fagioli and melon with prosciutto. Desserts are delicious, and if you can take some richness, you have to get a piece of the black and white cake. The tiramisu is also superb. Prices, as you would expect, are extremely reasonable, and they have a pre-fix menu every night.

On our most recent night the woman sitting next to us explained that she sometimes comes for lunch to eat with all the old ladies who hold court on a daily basis, and have been doing so at Lanza's for decades. That’s the kind of neighborhood Italian place you get when you go there, and while the food will never make you say “wow, I’ve never tasted anything like this”, it will make you feel all warm inside and want to give mama a call.

Italian Home Cooking

1 comment:

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