Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 July 2011 12:44
WHY IT'S NOTEWORTHY
A textbook example of Sicilian-inspired, New Orleans-style Italian cooking, executed by a couple of guys who have been at it for decades. No matter how long your memory is, if there's a dish you recall from an Italian restaurant meal a long time ago, this place will probably have it on the menu and prepared as well as the version in your head. Casual, unpretentious, inexpensive, Fausto's outperforms expectations.
Everything here rings the bell of familiarity. Lots of pasta, veal, chicken, and seafood, abetted with lots of smooth, herbal red sauces, garlic, olive oil, and mozzarella cheese. The prices belie the portions, most of which bring more food than you really ought to be eating. The seafood side of the menu is unusually strong, and makes the most of shrimp in particular.
Brothers Fausto and Roland di Pietro and their family have run many Creole-Italian restaurants over the years, going back to Renata's in the 1970s. This one opened in 1990, and collected a big following with its early-evening dinners and very ample portions. They have a family connection with Irene's.
The look is that of the neighborhood Italian cafe, with an amazingly well executed mural depicting scenes from all over Italy. A loyal clientele keeps the small, crowded dining rooms busy at lunch and in the early evening. Later, things tone down, and the little bar may be busier than the dining room.
»Eggplant carrozza (mozzarella, marinara)
»Calamari fritti (fried, garlic butter, marinara)
»Fried eggplant sticks
Marinated crab claws
»Arancini (rice balls stuffed with beef, peas, mozzarella) minestrone
»Mozzarella and tomato caprese salad
»Sicilian salad (with olives)
»Frutti di mare (shrimp, crab claws, mussels, calamari, oysters and fish with garlic and seafood stock reduction)
»Veal scaloppine Rolando (artichokes and mushrooms)
Panneed chicken breast, lemon caper sauce
»Vitello Vittorio (crabmeat, garlic, olive oil)
»Fresh Gulf fish Vittorio
Rigatoni, chicken, eggplant, marinara
»Manicotti (pasta tubes stuffed with ricotta, marinara)
Spaghetti and meatballs
Pasta shells florentine
Spaghetti and italian sausage
»Linguine primavera (vegetables, garlic, herbs)
»Veal saltimbocca (mushrooms, prosciutto, mozzarella)
»Chicken Louisiana (mushrooms, zucchini, shrimp, crawfish)
Grilled chicken breast bordelaise
»Chicken Sorrentino (eggplant and mozzarella)
»Fettuccine carciofo (shrimp, artichoke, olives)
Grilled shrimp Luigi
»Shrimp Calabrese (broccoli, garlic, olive oil)
»Rigatoni Nocerina (scallops, shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes)
»Pesce Siciliana (lemon herb sauce, shrimp, capers)
Italian ice creams
FOR BEST RESULTS
Avoid the early evening hours, when the inexpensive specials draw a big crowd and the cooking is a shade less careful.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The tables are a shade to close to one another. Entree portions are unfinishable. The wine list could be more varied.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment
- Consistency +1
- Service +1
- Value +2
- Attitude +1
- Wine and Bar
- Local Color +1
- Early-evening specials
- Open Monday lunch and dinner
- Quick, good meal
- Good for children
- Easy, nearby parking
- Reservations accepted
ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
There are times when one must have this kind of Italian food. The smooth, sweet red sauces on pastas in many configurations are comforting. The rest of the menu is even better, such that you can start with the idea of eating like a child, but upgrade once your brain re-engages with your palate.
|< Prev||Next >|