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Last month I returned to Il Vecchio for the weekday Pranzo di Lavoro or workers lunch. I was last here three years ago when it featured a Monday night prix fixe.
Arriving at 1:15pm, not long before the lunch service ends, I had a short wait for a table to be cleared for me. The workers lunch is priced at $10.85 per adult for green salad and two hot dishes. I noticed a few large groups in the room.
A plate of lightly dressed salad greens soon appeared at my table. The salad included shavings of fresh pear and pickled onions with a slightly sweet, fruity vinaigrette.
The two courses of the day were served from a rolling cart making its way around the room. Getting a hot meal here is as fast as dim sum cart service.
For Wednesday, the menu was Pollo al vino – chicken thigh braised in white wine, garlic, herbs, rosemary and Fettucine con funghi – fettucine, cremini mushrooms, onions, cream, parmesan. Both dishes were quite tasty, though the pasta was softer than I'd prefer. Certainly better than cafeteria food. And the portion was generous. I'd brought my own to-go container and boxed nearly half my plate to take home.
With the price of even deli sandwiches inching up past 10 bucks these days, a hot, sit-down lunch for this price is quite a bargain. For kicks, I clocked the time from entering the restaurant, waiting for a table, eating, paying the bill, and exiting. I was in and out in 37 minutes. This turned out to be faster than grabbing a sandwich and much more satisfying. The daily workers lunch is now also available for take-out.
110 Central Ave
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
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