Wilmington Restaurant Review: Mona Lisa Euro Bistro Brings Western Europe to Little Italy
While some authentic Italian dishes remain from its original incarnation, the restaurant’s overhaul includes exotic ingredients and European classics.
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Mona Lisa Euro Bistro
607 N. Lincoln St. | Wilmington
Prices: Starters $4-$16, entrées $15-$24
Recommended dishes: duck salad, mushroom ravioli, tuna tartare
Identity carries a lot of weight in a neighborhood like Little Italy. The residents and business owners of the eight-block patch of west Wilmington have upheld some of the proudest and strongest local traditions since Italian immigrants moved there in force between 1880 and 1920. The Italian families that live and work there—no matter how Americanized they’ve become over the generations—cling tightly to their cultural roots and touchstones.
Food holds it all together. Every pizza, sub and water ice shop has a history and DNA that’s uniquely Little Italy. Cherished eateries like Mrs. Robino’s, Pastabilities and nearby Attilio’s—the comfy, homey places that feel more like a great aunt’s rec room than a restaurant—inform the Little Italy experience. These red sauce and chicken parm places are the purest form of comfort food to the people who grew up around them.
Food reminds Jacques Macq of home, too. But for the Belgian-born restaurateur, dining also served as his passport to nearly everywhere else.