The New 101 list is out (more on that in a bit), so Missy and I decided to try out a place she hadn’t visited yet. We decided to travel north to Williamstown and visit Da Vinci’s restaurant in Williamstown. I’d been there once, and liked it, and seemed like a pleasant day for a drive.
Da Vinci’s sits on Rte. 14 in Williamstown, about 100 yards from the Bridge of the Ohio to Marietta. It was busy on a Saturday night so we had to drive to the parking lot in the back and that’s when you get the idea that Da Vinci’s is a big place. Very big. The front area is the size of a standard restaurant and when you back there is a split that takes you to dining upstairs and down. Missy and I were seated quickly by a teenager who has to be the daughter of the owner and wanted to be anywhere else but the business on a Saturday night (it was actually comical how unmotivated she was). The table was snug but clean and our server was friendly and attentive, if a bit over worked. We started with a half carafe of the house chianti which was good and well priced ($12).
Da Vinci’s is an Italian place and they serve pasta, pizza and the standard entrees at an Italian restaurant. Probably the most “out-of-place” item on the menu was a house specialty they call a German Pizza. It is corned beef, sauerkraut, cheese and horseradish sauce on the house pizza crust. They do an appetizer version (6 in.) and it was too unusual to pass up.
It’s really good. Look, you have to like corned beef, sauerkraut and horseradish (we do) but the flavors melted together like they do on a good Rueben. The sauerkraut and horseradish both had a nice kick and the corned beef was satisfyingly salty. Who doesn’t want to start an Italian meal with a cheesy corned beef sandwich?
Missy chose the classic spaghetti with meat sauce and I went with the parmesan pasta. After the standard salad (they toast their own croutons, so it was like having toast on the salad instead of bread-like rocks). Missy liked her spaghetti — it had a nice tomato sharpness. I really liked my pasta.
The sauce was a combination of olive oil, garlic, chicken stock and a lot of parmesan cheese, with a few cherry tomatoes tossed in. I added a chicken breast. It was very light — the chicken stock brightened the dish. It was perfect for a summer evening and I may try to recreate it on my own. Our meals also came with some garlicky toast (cheese optional).
Missy and I chose to get dessert beers at North End Tavern, but the options at Da Vinci’s looked great. Our entire meal (appetizer, wine, entrees) cost $45 before tip. A great deal.
I’d highly recommend Da Vinci’s. It’s not the best Italian place in the state, but in a state with Rocco’s and Muriale’s that’s asking a lot. Still, it was quite good and well-priced. They are located at 215 Highland Avenue in Williamstown. Check out the details, including the menu, here: http://www.villadavinci.com/home.html