**Updated March 2015 - Vinci's is no longer open for business.**
If you know me, you know I love pizza. So when my hubby said that one of his friends was opening a new pizza shop, I had to check it out.
Pete Maniaci and his son Paulo opened Vinci's Pizzeria because of their love for food and their desire to share it with the rest of us. Family recipes are used for everything they make - nothing comes frozen in a box here. Fresh ingredients are used and everything is made to order.
Pete actually ended up inviting us to check out the new place so we could sample the menu and see what we thought. Boy were we in for a feast! When we walked in we were greeted by this sign. I like how these guys think!
They treated us to a great assortment of menu items - enough for 4 people at least - and we left with full and happy bellies...and lots of leftovers.
We started out with two appetizers:
The calamari was lightly breaded and tender and served with a delicious marinara sauce. The arancini are risotto balls stuffed with creamy cheese and sausage.
Then we moved on to salad:
It was a mix of spring greens, sliced red onions, English cucumbers and lots of cheese.
Next up was the garlic bread.
It was crunchy, garlicky and cheesy - and sooooo good! I could have eaten the whole basket.
The next course was the eggplant stack.
It's a fancied up version of eggplant parmesan that was a step up from the old familiar dish on every menu. I'm not normally a huge fan of eggplant parmesan because of all the breading and how it gets soggy from the sauce. This version wasn't soggy at all because the breaded eggplant was only topped with slices of fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. We would have liked the eggplant to be sliced a little thinner but overall it's a winner.
And we had pizza of course!
Ours had meatballs, green peppers, black olives, onions, hot peppers and pineapple (on 1/2.) It reminds me of Farinacci's in Northfield because the crust is super crunchy and a bit shiny from a coat of oil on the dough. Grandma's dough recipe, fresh toppings and lots of love go into every pie.
In addition to pizza, they will be offering weekly specials that feature some fabulous Italian-American favorites cooked to order using fresh ingredients.
We sampled two chicken dishes - piccata and marsala. Both featured very thin and tender chicken with delicious sauces over angel hair pasta. For me, the marsala stole the show - it was so delicious! If they are offering it, you must order it and taste it for yourself. Yum!
We also tried the homemade cavatelli - and we were not disappointed.
They had the perfect amount of chewiness without being heavy. Notice the fresh basil and a dusting of parmesan? These guys pay attention to the details.
Another pasta we tried was the baked pasta. It's an item that's on the regular menu and available year round.
This is penne rigate, marinara, ricotta and mozzarella all baked together - definitely a crowd pleaser.
When they started talking about dessert I really thought I couldn't fit in even one single bite. But the fried dough dusted with powdered sugar couldn't be resisted. Especially with homemade caramel sauces.
They also have chicken wings and a full lunch menu. All the sandwiches are served on homemade bread. Seriously. And during Lent, they offer a fried tilapia sandwich and other specials. Click here for the whole menu. And if you're in the area, they deliver too.
There are a couple tables that you can eat at but it's really a pizza shop, not a restaurant. Order ahead, pick up your food, and head home for a home cooked meal without the dishes!
To find out about their weekly specials and flash sales, like the on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
**Disclosure: My husband has known Pete for years and he and Paulo asked us to come in and try their menu. The choice to share this information with you was mine and as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. **