Upon arrival, we found the Original Sicilian pizza shop to be a small place in a weathered strip mall that also housed an "adult entertainment" establishment. We were not inspired by the look of the place. It seemed like another mom'n'pop pizza joint churning out cookie-cutter pies with Sysco ingredients. Maybe we were wrong, though -- we got this very thoughtful comment from the owners:
"Sorry that you did not give our Pizzeria a try because if you did you would have found out what a great product that we put out. We use only the freshest ingredients with no perservatives or additives. Please let me invite you and your family on your next visit to Staten Island come by and have a Pizza on the house!Nearby, however, we saw Casa Nova. Glancing inside, we saw tables full of diners. It seemed a bit more full service and upscale than we had been seeking, but we were low on options. We went inside.
P.S. I can not pick who gets to rent a store, I don't own the shopping center and we close long before they open ! Thank you."
|Click on any image to enlarge|
Before the pie arrived, they brought a huge basket of assorted breads. There was half of a plain torpedo roll, a few small rectangles of tomato pie (delicious!), some crispy toasts that seemed to be generously treated with olive oil, and some chewy cylinders in a breadstick style. It was a great assortment that came with three dipping sauces - oil and garlic, bruschetta-style tomato mix, and what seemed like roasted peppers in red sauce. The peppers mix was scrumptious and we ate most of it. We could only make a minor dent in that breadbasket, knowing all the food to follow.
The pizza soon followed. It had a proper thin and crispy crust, which was consistent with the high quality of the bread basket. You'd never mistake it for Lee's or Denino's, but it was a solid bar pie with a Trenton-style (as compared to Neapolitan) crust. The sauce and cheese were tasty but certainly unremarkable. I give the crust a 7.5, and the sauce/cheese a 5 rating. Overall, let's call this pie a 6.25. It would be one of the best pizzas in West Chester PA.
Before the entrees, they brought us medium-sized green salads served overflowing on small plates. Conventional ingredients included iceberg, romaine, pink Florida tomatoes, onion, and black olives. The curious twist was that we weren't asked about dressing choice -- they just came with French dressing. I rarely choose French but the sweet tomato-ey dressing was a nice change of pace.
My lasagna was a generous portion that emphasized the cheese and sausage inside and on top over the layers of pasta. It was tasty, but not special in any way. EPBAC had ordered the Bolognese with angel hair in place of the standard penne. The server brought out penne Bolognese; we informed him of the error and it was correctly quickly. The pasta was perfectly fine, but the Bolognese really lacked spark. This dish can be sublime (especially at Nonna's restaurant in West Chester PA) when the ingredients are in balance. I think perhaps there was plenty of beef but too little of the vegetable textures and flavors.
|My half-eaten lasagna|