Saturday, September 23, 2017


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Salvino Cucina Italiana is a place you will want to visit if you're in the mood for Italian.  The food is excellent.  The service is good.  There is no country music playing in the background.  I think I heard Italian opera, but it was playing so softly that I could barely hear it.  Do not fear the opera. 

The small dining room where we were seated was somewhat noisy.  There were a lot of people at a large table celebrating a birthday.  They were loud.  The waiters sang "Happy Birthday".

I'm not sure how to tell you where to find Salvino's Cucina Italiana.  It's located at 2917 Battleground Avenue.  You probably will not be able to see it from the road because it sets far back from Battleground.  Just know if you're near Longhorn Steakhouse, you're almost there. 

I've included a small map.  Don't pay any attention to all the places listed on the map because I'm not sure they're still in business.  Pull into the parking lot and drive towards the back and you will see it.

Don't feel bad, and certainly don't give up, if you have a little trouble finding it.  We got lost for about five minutes until Debbie called Salvino's and asked for directions.  We were only a couple of hundred yards away and didn't realize it.

We arrived around 6:30 PM with no reservations, but were still seated immediately.  Salvino's web site makes no offer to take reservations, so we rolled the dice and just showed up at the start of prime dinner time on Friday night.  The gamble paid off.

This is our waiter, Kevin.  Kevin looks like he should be named Mario.

Kevin spent several minutes talking about the specials that were not on the menu.  We had already decided by looking at the online menu.  We let Kevin give his spiel and then ordered.

One of the things that sold me on trying Salvino's was its web page.  It is clean and simple.  One page with the restaurant name, address, phone number, and a slideshow of some food items and another page with the menu.  That's it.  No trash.  Just a simple and easy to read and understand list of foods with descriptions and the prices in plain English with $ signs and two digits to the right of the decimal point.

Be sure to take a minute to look at the menu.  All the dishes sound so good.  If nothing else, it may convince you to try Salvino's.

A word of caution - there are links floating around the web that show as the address.  They are wrong.  Leave out the "-" and you will score.  Look closely at the bottom of our receipt and you will see where the nonsense comes from.

Before dinner began, we were served some small slices of a very tasty bread with olive oil and some herbs.  The bread was soft and flavorful.  We made sure to save a couple of slices to accompany our meal.  The olive oil with herbs was also delicious.

I recalled a recent meal where we were served bread with olive oil.  It was not good.  I could not finish my piece.  I went to to look up the restaurant - it was Cafe Pasta.

Here is our shared appetizer.  It is Eggplant "Kayla".  According to the menu, it is "stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella, fontina cheese over tomato sauce, topped with bechamel sauce".  The menu didn't say, but I guess there was some eggplant in the rolls somewhere.

I will assume you know what everything is except maybe bechamel sauce and prosciutto.  Bechamel is a white sauce made with butter, milk, and flour.  If you don't know what prosciutto is, then you should probably not eat at Salvino Cucina Italiana.  Leave the cucina and go to Longhorn Steakhouse.  I'm pretty sure they don't serve prosciutto at Longhorn.

I poured some of the olive oil and herbs over my half of the Eggplant "Kayla".  It was a good idea.

I asked Kevin about the "Kayla" part of the appetizer name.  He didn't know but said he would ask.  Kevin returned a few minutes later to tell us Kayla is Salvino's granddaughter.

As we were leaving the restaurant, gray-haired grandfather Salvino, who was dressed in a white Chef's uniform with "SAL" on the front, stopped us to ask if we enjoyed our meal.  We told him we enjoyed it very much.  Grandfather Sal hoped we will return.  I suspect we will.

Debbie sips her Gabbiano Chianti.  I tried a small taste.  It was a standard grocery store wine - nothing extraordinary, but Debbie thought it went well with her dinner.

Here are the two salads that went with our meals.  On the left is my house salad with blue cheese dressing and on the right is Debbie's caesar salad.  The salads were much like the wine - nothing extraordinary.  I wondered why Salvino's even bothered to serve the salads.  Debbie said it was to get something "green" in my stomach.  I can think of several green things that would have been better.

The only other choice, other than a salad, was some sort of bean soup.  No, thanks.

Here is Debbie' entree.  It is Vitello Alla Piccata (veal piccata).  It is veal "sauteed with butter and capers in white wine lemon sauce".  It sounds delicious, but I thought it looked kinda skimpy for a $27 dish.  Debbie liked it and it was all she could eat, so what I thought didn't matter. 

I almost forgot.  The veal came with a side dish of Angel Hair pasta.  It was served with a topping of marinara sauce, but Debbie doesn't like marinara and asked to return it for plain angel hair pasta with parmesan cheese.  She mixed the pasta with the veal sauce and wolfed it down.

This is my entree.  It is Linguine Imperiale.  It is "Linguine tossed with shrimp, scallops, lobster meat, scallions and sun-dried tomatoes in creamy tomato sauce".  It was all topped with a generous grinding of parmesan cheese.

This dish was a killer.  I busied myself for several minuted just devouring the well-sauced Linguine.

The shrimp were cooked to perfection.  Very tender and very sweet.  So flavorful.  I'm sure I ate lobster and scallops somewhere along the line, but it all went together so well it was difficult to tell what was what.  It was easy to recognize the shrimp because of their shape, but the scallops and lobster disappeared into a haze of deliciousness.  

For reasons I do not understand, the Linguine Imperiale was served with a large spoon (underneath the pasta and shown below).  I suppose the spoon was for pasta twirling, but I seemed to manage quite well with just my fork.  I know I did well because I didn't get any of my dinner on my shirt, which is standard procedure.

I wondered who the Linguine is named after.  Debbie suggested Linguine might be one of the Mario Brothers.

Linguine Imperiale was an outstanding dish.  I hated to leave the red stain on my plate.  I regret not licking it clean.  You must order it when you visit Salvino Cucina Italiana.  

Some other dishes we got a look at when they were served to the birthday table were Scallops al Soave and a Beef Filet with Gorgonzola Cheese from the specials menu.

The Scallops al Soave were "pan seared sea scallops with lemon butter white wine sauce, served with spinach tossed with pasta in creamy sauce".  The scallops were served on the half-shell surrounding the pasta in the center of the dish.

The Beef Filet was a huge chunk of beef that kept calling my name.  I was too focused on the beef to notice what else was on the dish.

I believe I will try the Scallops al Soave on my next visit to Salvino's.

Here's the dessert we shared - a cannoli with chocolate and pistachios with whipped cream and a strawberry. 

It was quite good, but I would not put it in the same league as the Linguine Imperiale

Debbie gives me the "Stink Eye" for photographing her with a piece of angel hair hanging out of her mouth.  Actually several times she had a lot of pasta hanging out of her mouth, but I was never fast enough with my camera.

The prices were a tad high, but we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Salvino Cucina Italiana.  Dinner cost $100 with the tip.

We will be returning.

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