The Squirt: Inviting and Intriguing with Exceptional Italian Specialties
Must Eats: Calamari Saltati, Mozzarella Impanatta, Lamb Chops, Tre Moschietieri
Prices: Moderate (BYOB)
Il Gattopardo is a wonderful new Italian restaurant located in Richboro, Pennsylvania. After only one time, it has become one of our favorite Italian restaurants. That is not surprising, being that one of the owners is our friend, Benny, former chef at another one of our favorite restaurants in the area. Benny has a way of working his magic with everything he creates. He is warm, passionate and has a heart of gold. With that combination he will go very far in life. Il Gattopardo is Italian for The Leopard. It is a novel by Giuseppe Tomas di Lampedusa that chronicles the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Risorgimento (English: Italian Unification.) It eventually was made into a movie in 1963. The atmosphere of Il Gattopardo is inviting, crisp and artsy. There is a beautiful grand piano right in the center of the two sections of the dining room. The colors are warm and the tile gives a nice contrast to the wall color.
We decided to dine at Il Gattopardo on opening night and we were glad we did. We were greeted immediately by Loreto, who escorted us with a big smile and remembered us from a private celebratory event the night before. Loreto let us know that Dylan would be our server for the evening. It was only a second until Dylan came over and cordially welcomed us to the restaurant and let us know we would be in good hands for the evening. Dylan was very polished, polite and was an excellent server for the evening.
The bread at Il Gattopardois phenomenal and comes straight from Brooklyn, NY. The flavor and texture are fantastic and when coupled with butter, sends ones heart a flutter. We all decided to order two appetizers and share them, There is a long list of them, so it wasn’t easy narrowing it down to only two. The first one was Calamari Saltati, which was sauteed calamari with a white wine sauce. The flavor of this dish was remarkable. The sauce was delicate and was hinted with fresh herbs and white wine. The calamari was very tender and pearly white. Totally outstanding.
The second appetizer, Mozzarella Impanatta, was just as phenomenal, but may have made our eyes roll a teenie bit further into our heads than the first. It consisted of breaded loaf fresh mozzarella, pan seared then salamander roasted. topped with fresh plum tomato and basil salsa and crunchy breadcrumbs. You must be wondering what salamander roasted means. A salamander oven is a a small broiler oven used to quickly brown, broil, or toast various foods. The sauce was “Right On”….Molto rico. Benny really does have a way with sauce, every one we have had is delicious with the perfect amount of herbs. Benny is a sauce wizard. All of us could have eaten the Mozzarella Impanatta all night long.
Now for our dinner entrees. Ria ordered her traditional Grilled Domestic Lamb Chops. Benny knows exactly how Ria likes them and without fail, grills them to perfections and finishes then with extra virgin olive oil and lemon. They are served over sauteed broccoli rabe, but Ria added some delicious red roasted potatoes. When I say that Benny makes delicious lamp chops, I mean it. They are absolutely wonderful and luckily, Ren and I get to assist Ria in devouring them. Yippee!
Ren and I ordered two entrees and shared both. Dylan even mentioned that he would bring us sharing plates without us even having to request them. How is that for service! Our first entree was Chicken Saltinbocca, consisting of succulent chicken, spinach, prosciutto, sage and fontina cheese and then finished with sherry wine sauce. It was rich in flavor and again the sauce is so fresh and bursting with delicate flavor. Our second entree was Tre Moschietieri. It was a combination of chicken breast, veal and shrimp, tossed in a white wine scampi sauce. This entree was exceptional. It was excellently prepared and presented. The taste was wonderful.
“How could we not get dessert tonight?”, is what we asked ourselves. Well, we answered that question very quickly. Dylan brought out a really nice dessert tray full of some really great desserts. Ria ordered the Tiramisu and we ordered the Chocolate Pyramid. Both were rich and very decadent.
Benny came and visited with us throughout the evening, and introduced us his cousins & co-owners of Il Gattopardo, Vito & Enzo. Benny has always made us feel like royalty, because he is truly so accommodating and treats us like family. He is truly a gem and a joy to spend time with. All of the people that evening, Benny, Loreto, Dylan, Vito and Enzo, made it a special dinner for sure. It was also very special to be introduced to more family members at the end of the evening as well. Needless to say, our evening was truly a night to remember and we congratulate Benny in his new venture. We are sure that Il Gattopardo will be a hit with the locals as well as not-so-locals. We look forward to trying some of the homemade pastas next time we visit.
Thank you, everybody for everything!
Check out Il Gattopardo’s Website for more information:
<Website Coming Soon – Check Back!>1040 Second St Pike, Richboro, PA 18954 Give them a call at 215-355-4454!
Be sure when you visit Il Gattopardo in Richboro, PA, that you say that you were referred to them by Roy and Ren from TwoSquirts.com.