Saturday, November 19, 2011

Second article, went unsold, still entertaining, I thought.

Key West Delicious
By Barbara Blackmore
Old World Italian Cuisine
Fuhgeddabout de rest. Vito’s is da best!
Returning to Vito’s Piazza was something that we had been anticipating, and we were certainly thrilled with the results. We arrived early again, so we could linger over the tasty morsels that Giovanni and his crew would prepare and deliver to us.

Giovanni’s first experience with food was in his Uncle Vito’s shoe shop. A shoe shop you may ask. What has that to do with food? Uncle Vito had a full kitchen in his shoe shop, so between polishing shoes, and replacing heels, 10 year old Giovanni learned how to prepare wonderful Italian dishes from old family recipes. The people in the neighborhood would come in to eat lunch in this unique Delaware shoe shop. He then moved on to Uncle Joe’s Pizza and Sub shop, where he developed the skills to make the most excellent thin crust pizza, cooked just right. With the family descended from Calabria and Sicily the recipes are a proud family tradition. Here, ladies, we have an eligible bachelor who cooks.
Giovanni greeted us when we arrived, and our server, Joey showed us to our table, in the back of the tropical garden, again, so we could keep an eye on what was happening; people watching, as you understand, is another great aspect to fine dining.

Joey told us of the specials, and we asked what he would recommend tonight. He said that the Portobello mushroom sandwich was excellent, and perfect if you are seeking a vegan meal. He also recommended the Meat Lasagna, a new item on their ever growing menu, and the Mussels Fra Diavola.

As I looked around I noticed other locals sitting at nearby tables. Recognizing Kevin, I wandered over and spoke with him and his companion, Betty. They were back for a second time, after enjoying the five cheese lasagna and the Chicken Picata on their first visit.

Planning to enjoy a leisurely experience, we ordered appetizers first.  I had been anticipating the MUSSELS FRA DIOVOLA since my first visit, so that was my choice; my companion chose the BRUCHETTA.

As the appetizers were served, it was difficult to decide where to start, the bread service, the mussels or the bruschetta. But this is when the “So good!” chant started. Exquisite flavors, beautiful presentation; both appetizers were exceptional; with a nice glass of Hogue Cabernet Sauvignon to accompany.

We chose the VEGETABLE SALAD for the next course, and were so please when it appeared with spears of asparagus crossed across the top. The imported aged provolone cheese and pine nuts added exciting accents to this glorious treat, teased with their tasty reduced balsamic dressing.  Continue the chant…”So good! So good!”

We were so pleased when the next course arrived. We had decided to share the meat Lasagna and the EL ITALIANO PIZZA. My companion, of Italian Heritage said; ”Toss away all the other menus, there will never be another pizza like this one. The crust is divine and the bottom is perfect.” I agreed with the chant… “So good!” The MEAT LASAGNA was another hit with just the right balance of cheese, sauce, pasta, meat, herbs and spices. I chose the Ruffino Chianti to go with this course.

As our belts tightened, and our tummies moaned, we ordered dessert and Espresso. The CANNOLIS were homemade, as are all of the treats in this wonderful place, and my personal favorite, the Crème Brule was so creamy and… need I say more?

AS we pushed back from the table to sip the espresso, I noticed that several other tables had filled, even though it was still early; locals and visitors enjoying the finest Italian cuisine on the island.

I returned to Kevin and Betty’s table, to see what they had eaten. Kevin loved the Margarita Pizza, and Betty said that the Wedding Soup was so full of tasty morsels that she almost had to look for the broth. They plan on returning for another taste celebration, as do I.

Vito’s has expanded their menu to include several classic Italian favorites, and the best pizza in town. They are now serving personal size pizza; larger pizzas will soon be available. When you want the finest, “fuhgeddabout the rest, Vito’s is da best”


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