Jun10

Dine N' Dish Review: Monterosso's Italian Restaurant

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Dine N' Dish Review: Monterosso's Italian Restaurant

Monterosso’s is one of the best Italian restaurants in the Tri-Cities. I’ll stand by that statement any day of the week and twice on Tuesdays (they offer wine sampling on Tuesdays). But all kidding aside, if you haven’t been to Monterosso’s lately, you are missing out on a real treat.

Here is a sampling of the amazing food they offer:

Appetizers

Roasted Garlic Bruschetta: The bruschetta at Monterosso’s is unlike anything you’ve had before... I can almost guarantee it. Between the diced tomatoes, crumbled mozzarella, and the homemade bread, you will not find anything like it in the Tri-Cities.

Crab Dip: The Crab Dip at Monterosso’s was a new appetizer on their menu so, naturally, we had to give it a whirl. The first thing that I noticed about this crab dip was it was very mellow and mild compared to other similar appetizers from other restaurants. There wasn’t the overpowering taste of crab or other flavors that distracted from the dish. Also, the bread was perfectly toasted and if I remember correctly, it was a sourdough bread that worked very well.

Mussels al Mare: I had to actually look up the definition “al Mare” and it translates to a couple variations containing the words “seaside” or “by the sea”. With that being said, Monterosso’s Mussels al Mare were delicious. The mussels themselves were huge and the portion of the dish was perfect.

What I really looked for and enjoyed was the flavor of the sauce they were served in. The sauce was the perfect blend of basil, cilantro, butter, and I’m sure there was some white wine in there somewhere. This was one of those appetizers where some extra bread was needed so we could sop up all the sauce too. You absolutely need to order these the next time you can.

Soups & Salads

Caesar Salad: In my opinion it’s hard to screw up a Caesar salad. I’ve been to a few places where it has been done, but it’s been few and far between. The Caesar salad at Monterosso’s is on point. It’s perfectly portioned, not overloaded with dressing, and the dressing has the perfect blend of flavors.

Chilled Fruit Soup: I don’t remember the last time I’ve had a chilled soup with dinner. Even more so, I don’t remember the last time I had a chilled “fruit soup”. And for the record, even though tomatoes are a fruit, I don’t consider it a fruit soup.

But let me tell you about the chilled fruit soup at Monterosso’s. It was simply amazing. This soup was a perfect blend of blueberries, strawberries, and I believe some mango. It was also garnished with a sprig of mint. The flavors worked so well together that I totally forgot I was eating soup. I believe they do this as a “seasonal” dish so it may change from time to time. No matter what they are serving as their fruit soup, I highly recommend trying it. You will not find anything like it in the Tri-Cities.

Homemade Lentil Soup: I love soup. I love homemade soup even more. All the soups at Monterosso’s are made in house and are delicious. For this tasting I went with a soup I haven’t eaten yet. Monterosso’s lentil soup was absolutely delicious. That’s really all I can say about it. If you haven’t had lentil soup in a while, you need to go to a place that does it perfectly.

Entrees

Matt’s Stuffed Pork Tenderloin: If you haven’t had Matt’s Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, you absolutely need to. This is a large pork tenderloin that is stuffed with prosciutto, artichoke hearts, pine nuts, fresh basil, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, and other Italian seasonings. All of this sits on a bed of pasta called capellini.

The flavor of this dish is something of a creamy, stone-ground mustard flavor that you wouldn’t normally think of trying. I’ve tried this dish a couple of different times and I’ve always tastee just a hint of lemon to it as well. I think the combination of the lemon, mustard, seasonings all on top of the tenderloin stuffed with the prosciutto and other goodness is just a winning combination.

Chicken Marsala: The Chicken Marsala at Monterosso’s is an excellent dish. The Marsala comes in a traditional fashion and is made with fresh mushrooms, scallions, capers, and alpine Swiss cheese in a marsala wine sauce.

Until now, I’ve never cared for Chicken Marsala. It just didn’t sound appealing to me mostly because of the mushrooms. I’ve just never been a fan of mushrooms. However, Monterosso’s Chicken Marsala was absolutely delicious. The combination of the sauce and the mushrooms made for a very mild and delicious “earthy” flavor.

If you’re a fan of Chicken Marsala and want to see how Monterosso’s shapes up to the competition, I’m confident you’ll have a new favorite.

Blue Cheese Filet Mignon: The Blue Cheese Filet is absolutely my favorite dish at Monterosso’s. It is a generous sized filet mignon that is served on a bed of pasta with a blue cheese cream sauce. Within the sauce are sun-dried tomatoes and wild mushrooms.

What I love about this filet is the flavor. Monterosso’s puts a beautiful char on this steak you will not find anywhere else in the Tri-Cities. The combination of the blue cheese with the char on the steak is something you really need to experience at Monterosso’s.

Tortellini Oreste: The Tortellini Oreste is a simple, delicious dish. It is made from Rose shaped tortellini that is stuffed with three awesome cheeses... ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan. Yum! If you’re looking for a classic Italian dish that isn’t too complicated and will definitely hit the spot, this is the one. I can also see this as a dish for anyone to eat who hasn’t experienced great Italian food and needs something to ease them into it.

Chicken Parmesan: Like any Italian restaurant you could visit, you will find Chicken Parmesan on the menu. In my opinion, the Chicken Parm at Monterosso’s is a cut above the rest. Monterosso’s does their Chicken Parm with a homemade red sauce, the perfect amount of Parmesan cheese so that it doesn’t overpower the other flavors of the dish. If you’re looking for a full flavored meal that won’t leave you feeling overly stuffed, you will enjoy this dish.

Pasta Al Forno with Chicken & Prosciutto: The Pasta Al Forno is a traditional pasta dish that has been boiled first then baked in an oven. This double cooking makes the pasta noodles very soft as opposed to “al dente” which means a little firm.

Tonight’s Pasta Al Forno was served with chicken, prosciutto, and a delicious alfredo sauce. I found the whole meal was well balanced. The chicken and prosciutto didn’t overpower the flavor of the noodles and alfredo and vice versa. If you are looking for a light and flavorful dish, I highly recommend the Pasta Al Forno.

Dinner Special: Grilled New York Steak Oscar: Topped with crab, asparagus and hollandaise sauce. Served with sauteed vegetables and balsamic mashed red potatoes.

Desserts

Homemade Chocolate Pots de Creme (chocolate, caramel, & sea salty goodness): Oh. My. God. This was one of the best desserts I’ve enjoyed in a very long time. How could anyone possibly go wrong with caramel, chocolate, and sea salt? Can you say “perfect blend of chocolatey sweet and salty?” If you ever see this on Monterosso’s dessert menu, you have to order it. Even if you don’t think there will be room.... just order it anyways.

Homemade Blueberry Cheesecake with lemon custard: I try to tell everyone that I’m not much of a dessert person. That claim has been coming under fire for a couple years now because just about every dessert I try I tend to rave about. Of all my favorite desserts so far, I really do love a great cheesecake. I’ve never really had bad cheesecake per say, but the really good cheesecakes do stand out in my mind. The cheesecake at Monterosso’s is one of those that stands out.

Homemade Chocolate Truffles: Homemade Chocolate Truffles... do I need to say any more? These truffles were little balls of chocolate heaven. Even if you are beyond stuffed from dinner, you need to order these. They are the perfect size for satisfying a sweet tooth after a meal.

Homemade Tiramisu: Having much of my family come from Italian / Sicilian descent, I’ve eaten my fair share of Tiramisu. I truly enjoyed the tiramisu at Monterosso’s for a couple of reasons. One, it was homemade. You don’t find too many restaurants in the Tri-Cities that make their desserts in house. The second reason is that it wasn’t overpowering in any one area. It was the perfect blend of flavors.

This review / tasting was one of those that really makes me love what I do. In my opinion, the Tri-Cities get a bad rap about the lack of locally owned restaurants that offers locally sourced food. Monterosso’s is one of those restaurants that I will happily point to when anyone says there aren’t any great restaurants in the Tri-Cities. If you haven’t been to Monterosso’s lately, you really need to pay them a visit. They do great lunches and dinners.

Ryan Castorina-Rose

For more information and directions, visit Monterosso's Italian Restaurant.

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Photography by Martha Garza Photography for Waddido.com.

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