Vito’s Cafe turned out to offer a different dining experience then we expected.
In the midst of a York Road strip mall, we anticipated casual Italian – maybe a local version of Olive Garden that also served pizza. Instead, we realized that we had stumbled across a place that aspired to be a true Italian restaurant! The first tip-off were the dining rooms with a mix of booths and tables – all with white starched tablecloths and napkins on top. Waiters and busboys dressed formally in black while a large window provides a view of the kitchen.
Lighting in the evening is gentle and just enough to facilitate taking in the menu and there’s a lot to take in – with couple dozen pasta and Italian dishes (most $15-$25 – but include a salad) plus a dozen variations of pizza (most $13-$15). After a lot of contemplating the options, the three of us decided on three different entrees: Marty ordered Fettucine Alla Norcina (pasta with mushrooms and ground veal), Tom went with the Pappardelle alla Bisonte (slow cooked locally raised Bison in marinara on Pappardelle) while John ordered Tortelloni ai Porcini (pasta stuffed with braised veal in a cream sauce). All three were approx $20 and since they came with a salad, we made what turned out to be a good decision to pass on a shared antipasti (there are 10 appealing appetizers $8-$15).
The salads turned out to be a generous portion of fresh greens and veggies. Along with a basket of good “made here” Italian bread, it made for a great start to our meal.
All three entrees earned our “Thumbs Ups”: Marty’s Fettucine turned out to be a huge portion of delicious pasta, mushrooms and ground veal (He ended up taking half of it home!)
Tom’s Italian style bison turned out to be heart and delicious:
John’s stuffed Tortelloni turned out to be encased in a wonderful tasty cream sauce (he put some of the Italian bread to good use mopping his plate clean!)
We all made good use of a bowl of fresh grated parmasean
Regretfully, we were all so full between the large salad and our entrees that we couldn’t even consider sharing a dessert afterwards.
During the meal, service was attentive (though formal) and water glasses were refilled without asking.
While our dinners weren’t exactly cheap, we felt that Vito’s offered good value for the money. I’ve got the feeling that we’ll be back to try other items on the menu that we missed out on with our first visit! <WInk>
Facts: Vito’s Cafe; Cockeysville; 10249 York Road; 410-666-3100; http://vitoristorante.com/Full bar; vegetarian options; lots of adjacent free parking.