The Old Spaghetti Factory is a step back in time. When we entered the restaurant my daughter remarked, “it feels like we are getting ready to ride the Tower of Terror at Disney World.” The antique décor is beautiful and makes me think that I should be wearing a finely tailored pin stripe suit and a daper fedora. OSF meals come with a choice of soup or salad, entrée, and a small dish of spumoni. The blue cheese dressing on their salad is nothing fancy, but I still prefer it to their minestrone. The day’s entrée for me was called “The Premier.” It contained generous helpings of chicken marsala and lasagna. Perhaps I am too southern to figure out exactly what a marsala is. To me it tasted like chicken with a nice mushroom gravy. My chicken was a little overdone, but the quality sauce made up for it. Let’s just forget the chicken, though. This is Italian and that means lasagna! The noodles were perfectly tender. The ricotta cheese blended rather than overpowered the rest of the ingredients. There was enough tomatoy goodness that I had sauce with the last bite that I took. The meat provided texture and weight without teasing me into thinking I was eating meatloaf. It was a symphony of Italian food perfection with each element wondrously playing its part. My wife is in love with their brown butter spaghetti with mizithri cheese. For me, spaghetti has to involve some form of tomato. I just ate more lasagna. They asked my kids at the start, “Salad or applesauce?” They declined both. This is the “Old” spaghetti factory after all. I can only imagine a grandparent coming up with that combo. The spumoni is a nice touch for the big folks, but thankfully they had vanilla for the little ones. The prices are middle of the road for what you get. You are, of course, paying for quality service and ambience. I couldn’t help but wonder how much of the $40 check justified the antiques, the low level lighting and the trolley car. Then I remembered how much it cost to ride the Tower of Tower, and recognized that you pay a little more for a quality experience. Go to the Old Spaghetti Factory. There is no reason to be afraid.
Decided to visit for the first time on a whim and very happy we did. First off , the building is absolutely beautiful! The stained glass, wooden beams and the decor. Just beautiful. I decided to try their garlic bread appetizer and it's so simple yet so delicious. For my entree I chose the Pot Pourii. It's a plate of pasta with 4 different sauces. Brown butter and certain cheeses. The clan sauce, meat, and regular marinara. My favorite was the brown butter and the yummy clam sauce. So delicious. I recommend a visit. It's a bit pricey but you are downtown. Otherwise, that's the only con I can say.
What I have seen and experienced at Vito's is merely the tip of the iceburg and a premonition of what is yet to come. Nashville has witnessed bits and pieces of this Master Chef who combines experience, passion and knowedge and molds them into an art form previously unsurpassed anywhere. Vito is obsessed with cooking. His resume speaks volumes, but his fanatical desire to prepare phenominal gourmet meals is uncanny; and it goes far beyond Italian. This evening I tasted his Oscar Veal chop with crab meat, asparagus and the most delicious demi-glaze I've ever tasted. This man is absolutely amazing.