Dark woodwork and gorgeously restored tin ceilings help nurture a warm, inviting feel at Natalino's. Generously portioned pasta, chicken and meat dishes also delight at the restaurant, which has food that's as good as anywhere in the neighborhood, and the service to go along with it.
Chicken vesuvio, a half chicken roasted with green peas in a white wine, garlic and rosemary sauce served with potatoes was an enjoyable, filling meal full of flavor. Poultry lovers may also enjoy chicken cacciatore (with tomatoes, mushrooms, and red and green peppers in a white wine tomato sauce); chicken Joey (grilled chicken served over rapini, white beans and tomatoes); and chicken breast with porcini mushrooms in a champagne cream sauce.
For those who like a little more choice, pasta dishes are the way to go. For $13, you can mix and match a type of pasta with any of five different sauces. Finally, you can get that meat ravioli with arrabiata you've been dreaming of. If that sounds like a lot of work, you can also get pre-devised menu items like whole wheat flaxseed penne pasta tossed with cherry tomatoes, ricotta cheese and an olive oil-garlic sauce ($17), or linguini di mari, chock full of clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops and calamari with marinara or white wine sauce ($24).
Don't fill up on bread here; you might miss out on the hearty appetizers. Start your meal with polenta, baked with provolone cheese and topped with Italian sausage.
Average cost: $31+
Centerstage Reviewer: Mary Susan Littlepage