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Vito's Ristorante

7521 N. May Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 848-4867

Vito's Ristorante

With Italian restaurants I generally find one or two dishes that stand out among the rest, and which I will usually order on return visits. At a few restaurants, though, the red sauce and cheese are so good I can imagine that I would enjoy just about anything served with them, and so far this has been the case with Vito's Ristorante.

Located in north Oklahoma City, Vito's is among the several Italian restaurants I would have tried simply because of its proximity to me. Fortunately, though, I also consider it one of the better choices that can be found anywhere in the city.

The emphasis at Vito's is all on home made food from family recipes. Cathy Cummings, the owner of Vito's, grew up in a family that operated an Italian restaurant in Kansas City, and the food at Vito's not only reflects the family's traditional recipes but also some of Kansas City's notable specialty dishes such as chicken spedini. The bread, sauces, and olive oil dipping sauce are all made in house, and the food is about as close to "home cooking" as you can get.

Cathy's husband operates Sean Cummings' Irish Restaurant & Pub next door, and the two restaurants together provide quite an interesting combination of ethnic food.

Vito's home made bread
Vito's home made bread

Customers begin the meal with complimentary home made Bread. This fresh bread and olive oil dip is addictive, running the risk that you will feel nearly full before the meal even arrives. A side note is that I think this is the same bread they serve at Sean Cummings' Irish Pub next door, except that the pub has more varieties of bread.

Vito's tomato soup
The tomato and basil soup is one of several "soups of the day"

Many dinners come with a choice of soup or salad, and usually the salad is a good choice. When I tried the Tomato and Basil Soup, though, it was truly memorable for its flavor, freshness, and quality. The soups change daily and probably seasonally, but I was very impressed with the quality of this one.

Vito's salad
Vito's salad

Salad is a good choice as well, and as the photo demonstrates this is much more than the typical "house salad" served at many Italian restaurants. The salad at Vito's has greens that are actually green, and the tangy dressing is quite good.

Lasagna
Lasagna

One of my favorite dishes at Vito's has been the Lasagna, a wonderful concoction of beef and pork meatballs, pasta, cheese, and sauce that is not quite like any other lasagna dish I have tried. The meatballs are cooked into the sauce, and would be easy to remove if you are a vegetarian. I have found the meatballs, though, to be one of the most outstanding features of Vito's, and are definitetly one of the best parts of the dish. So far this is the best lasagna I have found in OKC.

Chicken marsala
Chicken marsala

The Chicken Marsala was frankly not my favorite dish here, but it impressed me by having a better flavor than the cream sauces I have tried in many other restaurants.

Chicken scalloppine
Chicken scalloppine

Chicken Scalloppine is a relatively recent addition to the menu, and originally only veal was served. However, the mushrooms, capers, olives, and lemon butter sauce are really too good to be kept to only one dish, and I thought the chicken version was a definite winner. This dish was a good balance of flavors, and is a good alternative to the red sauce dishes (but you don't have to miss out on the red sauce because it is served with pasta on the side).

Spaghetti and meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs were memorable not only for the meatballs, but also for the sauce. The meat seemed to be the same as the one used in the lasagna, only formed into larger balls (two meatballs were served with the order). The sauce had thick chunks of tomatoes and vegetables that made it delicious and filling. It had a noticeable sweet flavor, but I think it is the same sauce used in all the dishes at Vito's. It just seemed sweeter with the spaghetti due to a lack of distractions such as cheese that would offset the sauce's flavor. A generous amount of basil was used, but this seems to be the case with all the dishes at Vito's. I was particularly impressed with the spaghetti for being a very satisfying dish with no cheese (although the server will add parmesan cheese if desired).

Italian sausage
Italian sausage

Italian Sausage is one of the items at Vito's that is well known for being authentic and one of the best examples that can be found in Oklahoma City. Since some time passed between sampling the meatballs and the Italian sausage, I cannot say for sure which is better. It seemed, though, that both were excellent. The spices in the Italian sausage were so unique that this appears to be the reason the sausage is especially sought out. The sausage shown in the photo was a side serving, and it is available in the number of pieces desired or on a dinner.

Chicken spedini
Chicken spedini

The Italian sausage is one of the several specialties Cathy brought from Kansas City, and which is popular in the restaurants there. Another is the Chicken Spedini, a breaded and highly seasoned grilled chicken dish with no tomato sauce, but which comes with a side of pasta that gives a balance of flavors. I enjoyed this dish not only because of the flavor, but also because it is not often I find something I like to order at Italian restaurants that is a departure from the normal dishes served at every restaurant.

Eggplant parmesan
Eggplant parmesan

The Eggplant Parmesan is one of the best in the city, and on an earlier menu it was listed as "Vito's specialty" (now there are three dishes listed as specialties). I think the eggplant truly qualifies as a specialty because they have everything down right, including the breading, the eggplant, and the sauce. This is one of the two or three eggplant parmesan dishes in the city that I think is definitely worth trying.

The Chicken Parmesan was excellent as well, with tender chicken and a light sauce. The parmesan cheese slices lightly melted on top contributed as much as anything to the excellent quality of the dish (as they do with the eggplant dish).

Vito's is a small family run operation, and it is obvious that much care is taken to assure high quality. Probably the biggest drawback is that the menu is smaller than other Italian restaurants, but there is no shortage of good choices. Pizza is really the only item I might have expected the restaurant to have that is not served.

Vito's used to be open only in the evenings, but in 2008 it began serving lunch (the menu was somewhat expanded at about the same time).

Wine is available from the wine list or the house wines.

To me the serving portions are large enough to be shared (fortunately there is no extra charge for this). Thus it may easily fall into the $$ price category by sharing a plate. Several reasonably priced side items can be used to supplement a half order (and it would still be $$). A couple I would recommend include the salad and/or an individual order of Italian sausage.

Overall I think Vito's is one of the best deals in the city for good quality Italian food.

RELATED ARTICLES
Nov. 16, 2012 : Vito's Update

RESTAURANT DETAILS

RATING: 24

Cuisine: Italian
Cost: $$$
Hours: Mon-Sat (except Sat. lunch)
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Full Bar

Most Recent Visit
Oct. 23, 2012

Number of Visits: 7

Best Items
Eggplant Parmesan, Lasagna, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Italian Sausage, Chicken Scalloppine

Special Ratings
Lasagna:
Spaghetti and Meatballs:
Chicken Parmesan:
Eggplant Parmesan:
Chicken Marsala:
Chicken Spedini:
Chicken Scalloppine:
Italian Sausage:
Salad:
Tomato Soup:

Restaurant Web Site
Vito's



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