Delaware Dining: A Review of Luigi Vitrone’s Pastabilities Italian Restaurant on Lincoln Street in Little Italy in Wilmington
Lots of Pastabilities: Luigi is back—as are his rave-iolis.
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Luigi can also display whimsy as a chef, although his dishes occasionally mirrored the hodgepodge of his walls. On one visit, a house salad arrived topped with a grab-bag of ingredients that included crispy, dehydrated green beans and beet slices, orange wedges, diced red cabbage, and inedible, raw fennel bulbs. Another night, he added grapefruit and homemade blocks of mozzarella, the former absolutely eviscerating the latter’s delicate flavors. Pasta fagioli arrived sans navy beans or pasta, but rather with kidney beans and potato.
But you don’t go to Pastabilities for the salads.
You go for cavateli in meat sauce, decadent linguine in lobster and house-cured Abruzzese sausage. You go for the stuffed pepperoni and salted ricotta on your plate of cold antipasto, and the stodgy yet delicious stuffed mushroom caps loaded with crab and shrimp meat, sautéed veggies and bread crumbs.
And don’t look for any of that to change anytime soon. Pastabilities’ legacy is cemented. But what about the next generation of diners? With his menu that touts a recipe proudly “As seen in Gourmet Magazine, 1980,” plus his adjacent Old Skool Antiques shop, Vitrone is probably not concerned.
He’s been given a second chance at life, and as long as Luigi is rolling his ravioli, Sinatra is playing over the speakers, and the glass tabletops reflect the starry ceiling above, Pastabilities deserves a second look.