23 Aug 2014
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Review: Provino's

On the menu: Eggplant Parmiagiana and olive oil rolls

Review: Provino's Review: Provino's Review: Provino's

For family style service and Italian classic dishes, has been satisfying appetites for over 30 years. Since 1977, this establishment has been a local favorite. If you have not dined there before, I am happy to tell you that they have become famous for their huge, multi-ingredient salad served in a communal bowl and the hot garlic and olive oil rolls. That’s just to get your appetite whetted. Beyond this, the down to earth classic dishes on the menu are exactly what you would expect in a great Italian restaurant. From the Antipasti: Mozzarella di Fritto—Cheese sticks with Marinara, Artichoke Hearts, Fried Ravioli, Calamari, Stuffed Mushrooms, and Baked, stuffed Clams Oreganta are just a few of the showcased appetizers. The price range is from $5.25 -$9.95

On the dinner menu are numerous chicken, veal and sausage dishes in the various Italian sauces that capture the cuisine of southern Italy: Alfredo Sauce, Lemon Butter and Wine Sauce, Spicy Tomato Sauce, Marinara and Meat Sauce are the mainstays of the menu. These dishes are served with the family salad and freshly baked garlic rolls and a side of pasta. You will be introduced to the classic pasta dishes with the flagship Spaghetti with meat sauce or marinara sauce.

Additionally, there is Lasagna with sausages, or meatballs as well as a vegetable one. The Ravioli comes stuffed with meat or cheese and served with your choice of meat sauce or marinara. The Manicotti, Eggplant Parmigiana, Penne Pasta Prima Vera, Angel Hair, Fettuccini and Cannelloni are among everyone’s favorite shapes stuffed with creamy, ricotta or spinach, mushrooms, or ground veal, to name just a few of the variations. From this array, the price spread is from $10.50 to $14.95.

Not to be left out, seafood dishes prepared the Italian way are included for your dining pleasure. There is a wonderful Cioppini filled with clams, shrimp, crab, scallops, mussels, Snapper simmered in their spicy tomato sauce and served over linguine. This dish stands as the gateway to the other succulent seafood choices. One of particular note is the Red Snapper Francese: an egg dipped and sautéed filet and served with a lemon-butter and wine sauce. The Cannelloni Del Mar: pasta horns stuffed with lobster, scallops, and shrimp baked in a Rosatella sauce. This is a succulent mélange from the sea that is sure to please many seafood lovers is priced at $15.95.

Count on table wine that is Red or White, Chianti or Riesling by the glass or the bottle.  Listed on the menu is a Chianti Classico, a Valpolicella, a Merlot, a Cab, a Pinot Grigio, and could my eyes deceive me with the “blast from the past” Spumante? You may also order domestic and imported beer. If you require more information about the wines, your server is your best source, not the menu.

This restaurant is kid-friendly in terms of gentle pricing for dishes children love and are familiar with: Spaghetti, Fettuccini, Lasagna, Ravioli and Manicotti selections are $4.25. The adult portions are quite generous, and I was not able to finish my entire meal in one sitting, so order accordingly.

If you are in love with Italian Dolci (sweets) with particular emphasis on Cannolis, Tiramisu, and Panna Cotta (secret: these are my all-time favorites), then you are in luck. Depending on how big your appetite may be, you can top your meal off with one of these lovelies or you can make Provino’s the Cannoli Destination Stop like I plan to do.  Desserts are priced from $4.95-$5.95 and worth every creamy spoonful.

There’s a lot going on at Provino’s with free birthday dinners, invitations to host your special events, and early dinner specials (any pasta specialty for $10.95 until 6 p.m., except holidays) at the Canton location.

The meal for me on the night I visited Provino’s was the Eggplant Parmiagiana. This is comfort food: thick layers of breaded eggplant, with creamy ricotta cheese swimming throughout and thick, red meat sauce baked in a white petite au gratin dish-- perfectly crusted around the edges with the sauce and cheese ($11.95). Beside this was the famous salad hearty with tomatoes, onions, garbanzo beans, beets, and long white strings of soft white cheese. The hot, garlic and olive oil rolls are too decadently soft and addictive to pass up. They are perfect alone or as another way to enjoy the wonderful sauce on your plate. You know what to do with them.

At the entrance, you are greeted warmly and seated almost immediately. The atmosphere is cozy, and comfortable. The service is exceptionally attentive. The next time you plan a night out with a movie and dinner, consider Provino’s. Even if you haven’t been there for a while, just walk in and the aroma of garlic, oregano and sauce will remind you that some things don’t change, and that’s a good thing.

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