Tried the new Italian place on the corner of PPW and Prospect Avenue--where Regina's used to be. I can't tell you how much we really, really, really wanted to like this place and we made every effort to give it a chance--we are desperate for a decent dining option in this area--but alas, it fell short.
The space is really nicely done, we had one of several tables on the street and the interior is surprisingly warm and comfortable. It felt great to sit outside in our own 'hood, we even ran into some neighbors there...this could be real neighborhood spot.
The place was packed on this Friday night. Service was haphazard, but that's not unexpected during the first week of opening. Things started out well, our order was taken quickly, decent bread/rolls were brought (surprisingly, since indeed, this is owned by the same people who own Regina's--and their bread is mediocre at best.) Our starters were brought quickly. The main courses, however, were brought before we finished our salads. And we waited 40 minutes for our dessert. The owner, who was present, and keeping an eye on things, apologized and comped us a glass of wine for this, which was nice. So all in all we were pleased enough with that.
The real disappointment was in the food. Average to mediocre, at best. We had a Cesaer salad and stuffed mushrooms to start. The salad was ordinary, the homeade garlic croutons didn't taste any different than what I get from the box at KeyFood, and the promised anchovies were not to be found (the taste wes evident in the dressing, but why can't anyone actually put anchovies in a Cesaer salad, the way they are supposed to??) The stuffed mushrooms were okay, but kind of bland. We both had pastas which were homeade; but my husband's fettucine was heavy and gummy; my paperdelle was just okay. The sauce for my paperdelle was touted as porcini, bacon, basil, and tomato, but it was way too tomato-y and not very flavorful, and the porcini were few and far between. I could make better at home!
The wine list was small (about 6 reds/6 whites) and uninteresting with oddly, only one or two Italian wines if I recall. We ended up with just glasses of the house red--a Montepulciano which wasn't bad for $5 a glass.
Which brings me to the price point issue. If this meal had been very inexpensive, we might be more inclined to go back. But, for just a few dollars more we could have an excellent meal at Sette, with a great $20 selection of wines. Or trek to Frankie's, for the same money or less. Here, non-pasta entrees were $18-23 and pastas were $11-15. Salads and appetizers about $7.50-9. And relatively uninteresting bottles of wine were at least $26 here.
So....I'm sure we'll try it again eventually, if only for the convenience factor; but sigh..we're disappointed.