Since our move to Westerly last April we have realized that we are living in a strong and present Italian American community. Having no Italian roots ourselves, this is a great opportunity to embrace a new culture and all the lovely parts that come along with it.
One of the best parts, of course, is the food! We have noticed that Westerly and the surrounding areas have an abundance of Italian restaurants. We have not even begun to put a little dent in the long list of places we are excited to try out, but tops on our list was Buon Appetito in North Stonington.
With an extensive menu offering both American and Italian American cuisine, there is truly something for everyone. Buon Appetito also offers menus for children, lunch, take out and gluten free dining. It describes itself as Italian with a Tuscan flare. Tuscan food is traditionally based on the idea of “poor” cooking. Simple and inexpensive meals without complicated seasonings. Tuscan cooks believe that fresh ingredients bring out the natural flavors in the foods. We found this to be especially true at Buon Appetito. The items we ordered were not overly seasoned which allowed the flavors of the foods themselves to really stand out.
We have a dining out theory that we tend to stick to and that is eat what the restaurant is known for. So although Buon Appetito offers a large selection of meats, steaks and burgers, we went Italian American all the way. On our visit we started with the organic Pasta Fagioli soup ($6.50) and the antipasto plate ($15.95). The soup was creamy and perfect for this especially cold spring day. The toasted bread and hearty beans would have actually made this soup enough for a lunch…but going in we didn’t know how filling it would be and we had already ordered quite a bit more! The antipasto arrived and the colors were vibrant and the plating was beautiful. Full of a large selection of Italian meats, cheeses and olives, we also should have known that it too, would have been enough for lunch. The olives were absolutely delicious; crunchy but not too briny. The artichokes were fresh and crisp and the olive oil was perfectly drizzled atop some of the sections. The balsamic that topped the mozzarella was just lovely…not too sweet and clearly a very good quality balsamic.
When lunch arrived we were lucky we had room to continue on. We ordered the linguini and clams ($20) and the Parma ham panini ($12). The clams were fresh and the linguini itself was light and lemony. It was served classically with the shells atop the pasta and seemed the perfect selection for a town so close to the ocean. The panini was perfectly grilled and that fig jam?! Oh wow. Such a lovely addition to the Parma ham. One thing is for sure, if you visit Buon Appetito you will not be leaving hungry!
If you are anything like us, you might be eating out with a few children in tow. Buon Appetito offers a lovely little children’s menu for kids five and under. The best part? All entrees on this menu are only $5. If your kids are older than five there are great family selections such as pizzas, appetizers and sides. Eating out doesn’t have to break the bank and at Buon Appetito this is especially true.
Sides range in price from $5-$6. Appetizers in the $8-$16 range and entrees anywhere from $10-$30. There is a vast selection of food and price points for all budgets. We hear they also have happy hour deals from 3-6…which we look forward to returning for as soon as we can find a babysitter!
We should mention that they also offer a nice selection of housemade desserts ranging in price from $4-$9. We were too full to try any of them, but we did get a cappuccino which was just gorgeous.
The best part of our lunch out was absolutely the lovely staff that we encountered. Everyone was friendly and helpful and so willing to answer questions and talk about the food. We can’t wait to head back and try out the pizza…and this time we will save room for dessert!
Click here to view Buon Appetito’s listing in the Greater Westerly Area Business Directory for contact info and links to their website and Facebook page.