Gallo’s Italian Villa – Neshannock Township

The final stop on my culinary nostalgia during vacation was dinner at Gallo’s Italian Villa in Neshannock Township.  I wanted some of that classic, New Castle Italian American food before I left.  I had a serious craving for some cavatelli.

Cavatelli (or cavats as we say in Little Italy) are my all-time favorite pasta.  They are like a combination of noodles and gnocchi, made with ricotta cheese for a light, chewy texture.  If I was only allowed to eat one pasta for the rest of my life, I would choose cavatelli without hesitation.

I know my friend, Tiffany, is always down to eat cavatelli, so I recruited her as my partner for the job.  I also hadn’t yet been able to see her house that she bought with her husband.  Let me tell you, it is so lovely.  I am so glad I finally got a tour.  Their house is all ready for Halloween (with my favorite decoration being the cat eyes in the window).  I loved the decor of the house and the space in general.  I think they will be very happy in this house together.  I love seeing one of my oldest and closest friends doing so well.

We chose to go to Gallo’s Italian Villa.  This is another place that holds a lot of memories for me.   Katie and I would also go here when I was able to draw her away from El Canelo.  She loved the $5 lunch buffet of pizza, pasta, soup, and salad.

I also used to go to the lunch buffet when I was competing in Forensic speech competitions during high school.  Our competition was held at a church two buildings down, so this was a popular place to grab lunch during our break.

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I remember having some fond times at Gallo’s, and I generally enjoyed the food.  It is not my favorite Italian restaurant in New Castle, but I generally put it on my list of good places to get Italian food in town.

I don’t know if my tastes have changed or if their food has changed, but I just wasn’t impressed by the food when we went on Thursday.  I ordered the stuffed pepper soup as my side for the meal.  It was alright.  The components were there, but it was a bit bland on flavor.  It also could have used more sausage.  I would but it in the ‘not good but not bad’ category.  I will say though that the bread was delicious.  It was warm and soft with a nice crust.  It was delicious with both the herb dipping oil and dunked in my soup/sauce from my pasta.

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The cavatelli and meatballs (while did taste good) left me unimpressed.  My primary disappointment came from the meatballs, as I could instantly tell they were frozen and store-bought.  I don’t remember if they always used frozen meatballs, but that left me regretting our restaurant choice.  The meatballs were store-bought, and the cavatelli were store-bought (which I don’t mind as much).  I hope they at least make their own sauce or I don’t even understand why I went there and gave them my money.  I could have made that meal myself and home, and I would have made some badass meatballs.

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The cavatelli were good and did satisfy my craving, but it would have tasted just as satisfying had I boiled them myself.  I honestly wish we had gone to II Tomato.  I had cavatelli there last year when I was home, and they were amazing.

What I did learn from this experience is that I might actually be over the ‘mom and pop’ Italian restaurants that I grew up on.  I feel like I make better Italian food than most of them.  If I order Italian food at a restaurant, it seems my tastes have been upgraded to upscale traditional Italian food.

 

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