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.
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.
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.
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.