Saturday, July 9, 2011

Roncone's...a Place Worth Traveling to Lyell Avenue For

(I apologize in advance for the not so stellar pics)

Let me start off by saying that I have never had a negative experience at Roncone's. My father (being a foodie) introduced me to this mom and pop Italian joint several years ago and we have visited several times since. One day I was browsing during an awesome 80% off sale (which you can get in on by joining their e-mail list) and I saw gift certificates offered for Roncone's. I of course bought two $25 off of $35 certificates (for $2 each).

When I told my parents about the gift certificates my father informed me that Roncone's  changed management recently. This did not discourage me because okapis love deals, so $2 for $25 worth of food is something that will get me to try your restaurant every time.

Today the better half and I decided to finally try out the new Roncone's. The prices are fantastic, so we knew that in order to spend the required $35 to use our gift certificate we would be able to order an appetizer and dessert. This really made me happy because one of the only thing that okapis love more than deals is food. We arrived at 3:45, so the place was pretty dead as is to be expected. (Okapis eat like senior citizens if you must know.)

We started off with a fried calamari appetizer which was cooked perfectly and paired with a tasty red pasta sauce. It was crisp and tasty without being rubbery or too salty...something that very few people can do well. Next up was the salad.

This was served with a house Italian dressing and crumbled blue cheese on top. It also boasted salami, croutons, olives, banana pepper, chickpeas, and grape tomatoes. It was very tasty and came included with our meals.

I ordered the Chicken Parmesan and the better half (who has asked me to refer to her as "Fancy" from now on for some ridiculous reason) had the Chicken Marsala. Both were extremely delicious and came in large portions for under $11. My meal was very good  and the sauce was among the best in town. This may not seem like a big compliment, but from someone fed by old Italian recipes for my entire childhood and who knows where to find nearly identical ones here in Rochester, this is a high compliment indeed. "Fancy" reports that the Marsala was excellent. In fact, she even ordered Marsala sauce on her pasta as she's not a fan of red pasta sauce, so if it wasn't terrific her whole meal would have been ruined. We set very high bars in the okapi family.

We finished off the meal with tea and sharing the dessert of the week: cannoli cake (which came with a small cannoli on the side). I forgot to take a picture because it looked so damn good when we got it that we dug right in (oops). The cake was fluffy and the filling was creamy and rich. In a word: perfect!

The decor is classic Italian eatery and although somewhat small, it's cozy without being cramped. Also, the waitstaff was extremely friendly, attentive, and personable. The service was fast and my water glass was constantly refilled which is a big deal because this okapi can easily drink a pitcher of water during dinner. The only thing that would have improved our experience would have been some beers on tap because "Fancy" loves her some dinner beer.

Even though it isn't in the best neighborhood, it is totally worth seeking out. Just be careful about the hours because like many family run Italian eateries, they keep lunch hours during the week and dinner hours on Fri/Sat. They still offer the gift certificates, and even paying $10 for $25 worth of great Italian food is a hell of a deal!  This okapi gives Roncone's 5 stars, so you should go eat there this week.

Roncone's on Urbanspoon


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