by Teri Link
In business for well over a decade, Vinny Vanucchi’s is Italian all the way, from the name on the door to the fabulous desserts you should definitely not miss. Vinny’s decor sets the stage for a complete Italian experience. Exposed brick walls and pressed tin ceilings combine with nostalgic family pictures hanging throughout to make you feel like you’ve arrived in a different country. The expansive space meanders through multiple levels and dining rooms and includes a sizable bar area. Vintage wood floors and traditional red check tablecloths bring everything into a cozy focus on a comfortable dining experience.
Upon first glance at the menu, it’s clear that Vinny’s heart lies in the “roll up your sleeves” culture of Italian bistros. Choices abound on the multi-page menu, but pasta is clearly the star of the show and is served in many forms, with multiple sauce and protein options. Spaghetti, fettuccine, and penne make up the base of most dishes and the sauces vary from marinara, to olive oil, to alfredo. Many protein options are available such as chicken, seafood, meatballs, and sausage. Additionally, there are lots of options for stuffed and baked pastas, such as baked seafood Italiano and of course, Nana Lu’s meat lasagna.
We tried two very different pasta dishes. Auntie Gracie’s sausage ragu was served steaming hot right from the oven. The sauce covering the al dente penne pasta was deeply flavored with garlic and onion and accented with bites of tender-crisp sweet peppers and mushrooms. The slightly spicy Italian sausage was abundant in the sauce, as was the gooey mozzarella cheese covering the top and crisped from the broiler.
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