Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pasquale's Rigoletto, in the Real Little Italy

“This chicken is greasy and tasteless.” These were the first audible words that came from the table behind me as I sat down in the main dining room of Pasquale's Rigolletto located on Arthur Avenue, better known as “The little Italy of the Bronx.” It wasn’t a very encouraging start, but I wouldn’t let it influence my opinion of what the evening would have for my dinner associate and I. The menu offered classic Italian dishes that went fitting with the classic Italian atmosphere of white tablecloth tables with a bottle of house red wine on each. Anyone who sat down for dinner received Italian bread with slices of provolone cheese that had come from the hollowed wheel that had been displayed as a unique centerpiece to the room.

I had decided to challenge the “greasy chicken” head on and ordered the Chicken Florentine. A family size plate contained about a pound of chicken with a layer of prosciutto held together by a francais coating. A generous portion of spinach cooked with garlic and olive oil went perfectly with the white wine and butter sauce that created that ”old world” Italian taste that everyone speaks so highly of. Greasy? Not visibly. Tasteless? Certainly not. Each bite was packed with a buttery white wine flavor and cooked to perfection. It’s possible the table behind me was served a bad batch, but they certainly got the right the second time.

The majority of the main courses average between $18 and $22, and you will most likely have enough to take home. Move over Mulberry Street, authentic Italian experiences exist in the Bronx.

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