Scranton isn't good for many things. Fortunately, food is one of them. Italian cuisine afficionados should visit two small family-owned restaurants in Scranton. Both are squirreled away in small residential neighborhoods, so it's best to call for directions.
1. Casa di Mama, 1829 Bundy Street, 570 961-2202.
Owned by the Taggliaterra family from neighboring Old Forge, Pennsylvania, Casa di Mama has the best seafood specials I've found in the area. You'll also want to check out the chicken and veal marsala, the crab cake appetizer, the Trip Around Italy, the alfredo sauce pasta dishes, and the homemade deserts. Their homemade balsamic garlic vinegrette salad dressing is second to none. And make sure to ask Frank at the bar for a Margurita.
2. Villa Maria, 1249 Brynmawr Street, 570 344-5355.
Villa Maria is known for it's enormous portions of pasta, so bring a heavy appetite. Menu highlights include another wonderful marsala selection, as well as scallop and broccoli alfredo.
Both these restaurants are relatively inexpensive, even for economically-ravaged Scranton. With a couple of drinks, don't expect to spend more than $50 on dinner for two.