Wednesday, March 17, 2010

'Stino da Napoli

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My wife and I have a mutual admiration for many things food related, one thing we don’t agree on is a love for eggplant. She loves it. I detest it.

She’s constantly in search of the latest and greatest preparations whether it’s Antonio’s Eggplant Stack in Parma, Allegro Grille's Eggplant whatever in Philadelphia, or the Eggplant sandwich at Primo’s Hoagies, (found all over SE Pennsylvania and South Jersey). For her, happiness is finding a new eggplant dish to place into the Eggplant Pantheon.

Food favorites are the stuff road trips are made of. We didn’t really have to travel all that far, (from east side to west) but it isn’t exactly around the corner. On Friday night we went to ‘Stino da Napoli in Rocky River, for dinner. Friday wasn’t just any night; it was the only night they serve the eggplant special. As far as food favorites go, eggplant is a top five food favorite for Regina.

‘Stino (short for Augustino) da Napoli is nestled in the same cozy little strip as one our favorites – Tartine Bistro. The front door opens in the central portion of the restaurant with the kitchen directly behind the hostess stand. This central area (where they also process take-out orders) is flanked on both sides by dining rooms. The décor itself is fairly minimal without being too stark. The tables are fairly close together, so if you have a loud neighbor there is the possibility that you will hear every word they have to say. (We had the fortune of having such a party and now we know their opinion on what the Cavs’ chances are of keeping LeBron James.)

Since we had someplace to go afterward we knew this was going to be a quick dinner for us. As the entrees were being delivered to the surrounding tables, we realized the portions were fairly sizable. For this dinner we decided just to stick with entrees. Regina went with the Friday Special Eggplant Parmigiana, which consisted of baked eggplant slices with light tomato sauce, parmigiano and fresh mozzarella cheese ($13.50). She thought it was good, but in Stino’s defense there is a particular kind of eggplant dish with minimal breading and very thin slices that she tends lean toward. This particular eggplant is a very traditional preparation (a tad bit more breading with thicker slices) that draws rave reviews from all over the city.

I opted for the Spaghetti Al Fumo Del Vesuvio, (a traditional Neopolitan tomato sauce with smoked bacon, onion, and fresh cream). I thought I’d be feeling the bacon a little more, but it wasn’t meant to be. This was definitely a case of my eyes reading the description and ignoring what my stomach likes.

If I had one regret, it's that we didn't have time for dessert. As we ate dinner these wonderful lemony looking desserts were staring right at me as they were escorted to their awaiting suitors.

Italian is many things to many people. ‘Stino da Napoli, I think, falls into traditional Italian group. The entrees are certainly in the affordable range; most, if not all, of the entrees fall in the under $20 price point. This little restaurant is much loved by the surrounding area. When we went to leave there were a number of people waiting to be seated. ‘Stino da Napoli offers good food at a good price.

'Stino da Napoli
19070 Old Detroit Rd
Rocky River, OH 44116
(440) 331-3944

Stino Da Napoli on Urbanspoon


  1. Yummmmmm. I'm one of those people who is nuts for Stino's Friday night eggplant dish (and eggplant in general). I also like the style that you mention your wife prefers and I think you may want to check out La Campagna for that version of the dish. I couldn't possibly pick a favorite from the two but they are each my faves in town.

    It is too bad that you passed on dessert. Stino makes an amazing ricotta cheese cake that you'll have to go back for sometime.

  2. I've never known Stino to bread their eggplant--that's part of what makes it so special. La Campagna and Stino make the best eggplant in town and neither is breaded (though La Campagna uses a light egg wash I think, possibly with a little flour).