Vinny’s Italian Kitchen

James came down from Portland on Friday for a visit. He only spent one night because he is in summer school and has a lot of homework to do, so he had to go back Saturday. We went for a drive to Jacksonville, which he had never seen. We have written about that before, but we had breakfast at the same place: the Mustard Seed; James pronounced it delicious. After breakfast we drove up to Applegate lake. The road pretty much follows the Applegate river, which turns out is one of the best fly fishing rivers in Oregon. James and I are looking forward to trying it out.

Insofar as we still have no furniture or cooking apparatus, Friday night we sought out a good place to eat and tried Vinny’s on the recommendation of Yelp. For a unimposing exterior visage in a shopping mall, the inside was a very pleasant surprise; a series of smaller more intimate rooms, rococo decor, tables with white table cloths, subdued conversations, wonderful smells, we hoped we were in for a treat and it did not disappoint. Eponimous owner Vinny and his wife run the place, so it has this nice Mom and Pop flavor, no franchise, chain restaurant vibe here.

Laura ordered the Lasagna (she always orders Lasagna when at an Italian restaurant because it is a pain to make at home). James ordered Chicken Parmesan and I ordered Eggplant Rollatini (I did not know exactly what it was I was ordering, but I know I like eggplant so I went for it.)

Nice to see home-baked bread and olive oil and balsamic dip.

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Fried Mozzarella Appetizer

(Psst… If you mention you saw them and checked in on Yelp, you will get a free appetizer. We got the Fried Mozzarella, yummy!)

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Laura’s Lasagna

Laura’s dish was the least successful. She thought the balance was off, sauce was too sweet and the pasta, too plentiful and too al dente. James’ Chicken Parmesan was excellent (I know I tasted it), crispy breading, just the right amount of cheese and sauce with a hint of lemon. My eggplant was the night’s winner though. Both James and Laura pronounced it delicious. In case you are wondering, it is made by thinly slicing an eggplant lengthwise, breading and frying it, then rolling it up around a filling of ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and parsley. Lightly baked and topped with Marinara sauce. Stay posted, as soon as I get my cooking stuff I am going to try this myself.  James’ and my dishes also came with a side of spaghetti. The portions were very generous.

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Cheesecake Dessert with early-bird special

So we were there for the early-bird special, which for $17 included salad (house or Caesar), entree and desert (we all got cheesecake which was also excellent). The place was packed and now I know, for good reason. Service was also excellent. We will be back.


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