Provino’s - Magnifico

Thursday, April 24, 2014 - by Willie Mae

When Lou found out that Lois wouldn’t be able to visit restaurants with me as often, he jumped at the chance to take her place. A few others applied for the position too and I didn’t even know we were that popular. I just thought my friend was funny and I had her tag along with me. Hopefully Lois will still be able to get with me on occasion.

I let Lou go with me this time and he suggested a place I had not been in a long time. Provino’s in East Ridge. I think Lou likes Italian places because of the music. Those places usually play Frank Sinatra or other old crooners.

This place was bigger than I remembered. It had been years since I had been and was probably under other management because everything was different. I remembered it being so dark you couldn’t see to eat, but now it was perfect. It seemed a little swankier than I remembered, but I certainly don’t mind paying a bit more for good food and good service.

Our waiter was efficient and friendly, but didn’t overdo it. I liked that. Lou and I looked over the menu and I saw a dish with Red Snapper that sounded good for just $15. That wasn’t a bad price at all. I tried to order the ‘Red Snapper François’ and impress the waiter, but know-it-all Lou said, “it isn’t called François – it is called Red Snapper Francese.” I changed my mind and decided I didn’t want that after all.

I changed my order to Shrimp and Scallop Alfredo (that was easy enough to say) for $17.99 and Lou chose the Chicken Romano with red wine sauce for $16.95. My dinner came with salad and the waiter brought that out first with garlic rolls. Lou filled up on bread while I ate my salad. He said the rolls were slathered in garlic and butter. I could smell them from across the table – there was enough garlic to keep a vampire away!

I saw very thinly sliced onion on one side of my salad. I always forget to tell people I don’t want onion. Usually I can just pick a few of the slices off and be done with it, but after I removed the slices I could see more hidden underneath the salad. It was too much to fight with, so Lou and I were both defeated and would just have to have bad breath and indigestion. It was a good salad though. It had mushrooms in it and I liked that.

When our meals arrived, I grabbed the black pepper shaker to sprinkle on top of my Alfredo sauce. The shakers were small and had tiny holes. The pepper wouldn’t come out very easily, so I unscrewed the lid and pepper went everywhere. I had to stifle a sneeze because some of it went up my nostrils. I can never get too much black pepper though so my meal was still just right.

The scallops tasted grilled and were very tender and delicious. The shrimp were medium sized and they were good too. It was a perfect combination. I tried to eat the linguini like an Italian and used the tablespoon provided to twirl my pasta on my fork. I am usually a good twirler, but the pasta was so big it made my bites big too. I tried to twirl smaller, but I don’t think Italians do anything small and it just didn’t work.

I was able to get the twirled self-indulgence in my mouth, but with very little room to chew or swallow. I swonney, I don’t see how people do that. Lou made fun of me and made a face puffing his cheeks at me and that didn’t help. I got tickled and the noodles almost slid down my throat before I could swallow. I didn’t attempt to impress anymore and I just cut my pasta after that.

Lou’s dish looked good. There was breaded chicken with ham and, to the side, a plate of spaghetti and red wine sauce. After all that bread and half of his chicken, Lou said, “I don’t think my stomach can handle that spaghetti, I am not going to eat that.”

When he finished his chicken, he tried ‘just a bite’ of the pasta plate and then he said, “No, I think my stomach can handle it…” And he finished it off. We both liked this place and it was reasonably priced especially for the portions they give.

It was too much food to have dessert though, so we didn’t even look at the dessert menu. I was very pleased with Provino’s, but I don’t know how to say “Whee-ee-doggie” in Italian, so I will just leave it at ‘Magnifico’.


11 a.m.–10 p.m.

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