Vince Anna’s – January 2017 (dt)
7.19 – 7.5, 7.3, 7.25, 7.25, 7.25, 7, 7, 7

Our second of three stay-close-to-home winter picks found us at Vince Anna’s. An earlier visit in November 2010 found us wondering why we had not visited in such a long time (for some of us it had been thirty years). And it was good to get back with five regulars, complemented by Den, Julie, & Kerry.

The cuisine has not changed—decidedly Italian-themed. Comprising the menu are twenty appetizers, fifteen pasta dishes, thirty Italian specialty dishes, twenty more seafood dishes, ten other-meats dishes, ten more open-faced sandwiches, and, of course, pizza, promising a comfort-evening.
            A woven basket of thinly sliced Italian bread, wrapped in a napkin, kept the nibblers happy. A ramekin of herbed softened butter and another with olive oil added a satisfying choice.
            Waiter Tori filled our water glasses in two trips and then deposited a full pitcher upon request.
            An appetizer of antipasto for four kept the table occupied—a nice blend of provolone and Italian meat slices topped with dressed salad. The salad/soup course arrived just as the antipasto disappeared.
            Our drink order had started with the early arrivers quaffing drafts at the bar. These were complemented at our table by two carafes of Chianti, along with three sodas and water all around. (The last time, we had ordered two bottles, something we should do again.)
            The house salad fits a molded, eight-inch glass dish filled with mixed greens, a couple stubs of carrot, several circles of onion, a few crescents of pepper, and a couple of tomato slices – a sufficient and basic starter, with dressings on the side. The alternate was chicken soup. All agreed: satisfactory-good.

Our choices of entrées, perhaps exhibiting a fair range of the menu, included:

All agreed our main courses were very good to excellent. Those choosing a pasta dish selected from four pastas. Choice of a side included French fries, baked potato, or broccoli.

The dessert menu started as a possibility but quickly gained acceptance for five or six of us. Don and Deb shared the chocolate lava cake with ice cream; Julie, with attempts to share, enjoyed the turtle cheese cake; Chay and Deb split a cannoli, with another one for Mark; and Den chose the cheesecake with blueberries. All good to excellent.

Service from Tori was good – attentive, cheerful, eager to please. Water was supplied, requests were completed quickly (or as quickly as fresh bread can bake), and she later commented that our table of eight was the biggest table she had served in her brief time thus far as waiter. She had help from another of the waitstaff when bringing out entrées, a customer-friendly practice. And she knew where orders went, something that more than a few waiters fail to note.
The pacing of the meal was just about right. We had started at 6:30 to allow ourselves two hours to closing time. And it fit almost perfectly, with DP8 closing VA’s at 8:35.
            Comments about ambiance can be read in the November 2010 posting. Only this time, because of our recent switch generally to Thursdays, we enjoyed a laid-back, less hectic restaurant. Of note is the glittering disco globe in the middle room center.
            On the way out, Jimmy Eufemia, chef and owner for decades, greeted, as he had done at the first meeting. It was a solid, comfortable presentation, reminding us to return.
The final bill came to $94 per couple, including tax, tip and drinks. This is close to our average range. Considering one large appetizer, a medium liquor bill, and five desserts, I guess the total should be expected. And this included the Thursday night special—buy one entrée, get the second half price.
Well done, Vince Anna’s.

Being a close to home pick, we decided on no pre-session and thus met directly at VA. The early arrivals had ordered a draft and waited for the rest to arrive.
            Topics at the table: Joyce’s absence due to tending to Mom’s affairs (our sympathies, Joyce); guests, welcome or somewhat welcome, at the Quinns; New Year resolutions; CD health insurance costs (open period in January for a change); a mild week in January; lack of skiing; Catskill doings; a job offer in the Quinn household; Kerry’s retirement; doings of our kids; stories of past minor indiscretions of others (not ours, of course); WAIT, wait, did someone say Kerry Quinn is RETIRING!? Well, we spent a while on that, trying not to scare him how horrible retirement is while at the same time treading carefully for the two who are still in the labor force, helping support our social security (thanks, Deb & Julie); upcoming trips, the grand one being the Notars; getting rid of estate material; memories of Vince Anna’s from forty-some years ago; noticeable from its absence was mention of the Inauguration today – thank you everyone!; and there was more but has been forgotten by the writer of this report.