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Top 5 Mid-Cape Italian

CapeCodGuy | | Jul 1, 2009 07:59 PM

Italian restaurants are everywhere on Cape Cod, more than any other ethic cuisine. My picks for the top 5 after far too many samplings to admit....

1) Tomatoes - Rte 130 Sandwich. never a bad meal and many terrific ones. Standouts include the Veal Saltimboca, Ciopino on pasta, Chicken Rollitini, grilled Lamb Chops, and more. Generally excellent service. Nice wine list. Nice room given it's strip mall location.

2) Girardi's Cafe 902 Main St. So. Yarmouth. Nice intimate setting with well prepared quality ingredients. Veal Parm is my go-to dish to determine if an italian restauarant is worth it's salt and it didn't disappoint. Crunchy and tender pan fried cutlet with just the right amount of melted cheee and a tasty, tangy marinara sauce. Shrimp scampi has generous garlic and shrimp on perfect al-dente pasta. Service is friendly, efficient, and excellent.

3) Alberto's Main St. Hyannis - Nice outdoor seating in the summer. Very broad menu featuring high quality ingredients. The kitchen can sometimes be inconsistant but generally is on their game. Favorite dish is Chicken Capris, which is a breaded chicken breast topped with fresh lobster in a brandy pink peppercorn cream sauce.

4) Gina's By the Sea - A sentimental favorite as I grew up in the area and know the owner. The menu, except for the prices, hasn't changed in 30 years but what they do, they do very well. Love the Veal Parm and Shrimp Scampi. The bar and 2 dining rooms are tiny and cramped and thoroughly original, quintessential Cape Cod.

5) Villa Roma - Rte 28 Harwichport. The building looks like a dump from the outside. Potential diners are greeted with a sign outside that essentially says " if you have kids with you and you expect that we'll accomodate them in any way, you are sadly mistaken". Once inside, it's a cramped and funky dining room and bar, and the food is delicious. Great Veal Parm, Seafood on risotto, and steaks. Clams on linguini are sweet perfection. Not a bad meal to be had.

Honerable mention:

Colombo's Cafe - Main St. Hyannis - A nice addition to Hyannis. A few misses, like the Veal Saltimbocca, on the menu.

I'd Skip:

Giardino's and DiParma -both on 28 West Yarmouth. Barnstable Tavern and Amaris both on 6A.