(TV Diner) - La Masseria is the Italian word for "farmhouse," and thats just the feeling you get inside this rustic restaurant in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
Antique wrought iron gates and farm tools on the stucco walls give this hot spot a touch of Old World charm. This is the Rhode Island version of the well-respected La Masseria in Manhattan. Both locations offer simple, fresh and flavorful Italian food, always using whatever is in season.
The Crispy Fried Zucchini is an excellent way to start a meal here. We were served a mountain of slivered zucchini, lightly battered and fried until golden. This was so delicious, we couldnt stop munching on this healthy appetizer.
The Assortment of Cured Meats and Cheeses was another authentic taste of Italy, with plenty of mild provolone, prosciutto and mortadella on the serving platter.
There are 11 wonderful pasta dishes on the menu, but instead we tried the Granotto. This is a special grain imported from the Puglia (pronounced PULL-YEE-A) region of Italy, sort of a cross between barley and risotto. Its served with tender white beans and chunks of seafood in a light tomato sauce. Italian comfort food at its best.
The Veal Milanese is a classic dish a thinly pounded veal chop that is breaded and fried. It was topped with a mound of peppery arugula and fresh tomatoes. Very impressive.
The Mediterranean Sea Bream was simply gorgeous a whole grilled fish was brought to the table and then filleted by our waiter. The filets had a delicate, ocean-fresh flavor. On the side were nicely roasted potatoes and a medley of chopped zucchini and corn.
Desserts here are to die for, especially the Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake, served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, and the Vanilla-Flavored Cheesecake, which is made with ricotta cheese.
We found ourselves eating every bite of food put before us, almost licking our plates clean. The food and service was right on the money. For transporting us to the heart of Italy for a couple of hours, we just have to give La Masseria the Platinum Plate.
Appetizers cost between $6.50 and $16.50. Entrees range from $14.50 to $32.50. Desserts run from $6.50 to $8.
La Masseria is located at 223 Main Street in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. It is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, call 401-398-0693, or visit www.lamasserianyc.com.