Independent family-run Italian Restaurant based in Walkley (not far from Hillsborough) serving delicious and traditional Italian cuisine. Don’t expect English versions of your favourite pasta dishes here – simple and authentic only, just how it should be! The restaurant has a warm, slightly rustic and open feeling to it and the staff are friendly and welcoming, even Vito came to speak with us himself 🙂
Vito’s Italian had been on my ever-growing list of Restaurants to try for a while, so it was a welcomed nudge when Vito invited me to come and try what he describes as authentic Italian food. Being Italian himself, and heavily involved in all parts of the restaurant, the passion that Vito has for food really comes across in the dishes served here. I have since visited again with a group of Sheffield Food Bloggers too via the Sheffield_Foodie_Socials group on Instagram, bringing local foodies together. Both times the food has been impeccable.
The restaurant has a warm, open feel to it with the bar area being a little rustic. Our waiters were very friendly and tentative which I love about proper Italian restaurants, the staff are always lively and want to make you feel welcome as soon as you walk in.
On my first visit the specials board that evening included a lot of seafood so I didn’t choose from it this time but I do love seeing a specials board! The menu itself is vast so it took me a while to choose what I wanted, but it’s great to see that Vito’s offers the pasta dishes as a smaller portion for starters too.
For my starter, an unusual choice for me, but I decided to go with Scamozza Al Forno Con Funghi – Oven baked Scamozza cheese with mushrooms, garlic and parsley. A large portion of big, fresh mushrooms lightly cooked and baked in lots of a cheese. This was far from the soggy, horrible garlic mushrooms you sometimes get on a menu that just leave a sour taste. I don’t often go for mushrooms but I was really pleased with my choice and really enjoyed this starter – I mean look at all that cheese!
Ben went with a starter portion of the Ravioli Aragosta – Lobster filled ravioli cooked with prawns and a touch of cream. Inside the ravioli was proper, fresh, big chunks of lobster. The prawns looked big and juicy too and the dish was presented beautifully. I was tempted to be honest, but I stuck to my guns with choosing not to eat seafood (was the most difficult it’s been since I stopped eating it months ago!). However I am told this dish was perfect and delicious.
It was a tough decision on which Main dish to go for. Vito recommends the traditional Carbonara. BTW don’t offend him by going to his ITALIAN restaurant and asking for an English or practically made up version of Carbonara in a cream sauce or with chicken in it – that is not a Carbonara and not an authentic Italian dish. I couldn’t believe when he told me that he had previous customers asking for it this was and giving a bad review when he said that he did not serve Carbonara in such a way.
However, that night the meal that caught my eye most on the menu was Strascinati Con Salsiccia Lucana (nope I couldn’t pronounce it either) – Strascinati (this word comes from the meaning to “pull” as you can see in the shape of the pasta) cooked with homemade sausage meat, tomato sauce, basil and chilli. (Typical pasta from Vito’s hometown). Wow – the dish looked amazing, tasted amazing and it was amazing that I actually ate the whole bowl-full, but I did haha. Really good choice and right up my street in terms of taste and ingredients.
Ben went for a good old Calzone – Folded pizza filled with ham, mozzarella and tomato, made the traditional Italian way. The dough was perfectly folded and just thick enough that it was lovely and crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside. Fully packed with delicious ingredients, this Calzone did not disappoint, however it just beat him as he was so full. I tried it myself of course and agreed that it was really tasty.
As well as the food going down extremely well, I loved the house red wine too – a Primitivo from the Apulia region, a really smooth wine. This has since become one of my favourite red wines.
2 alcoholic drinks, 2 starters, 2 mains and some olives to start came to just under £60 which we thought was very reasonable and was superb value for money for the quality of food that we received.
On my return visit to Vito’s Italian, this time with a group of local food blogger friends, Vito kindly offered our group a free drink on arrival and discount towards our food. We had a really great night meeting new, local foodies, catching up with old acquaintances and all the while drinking great wine and eating delicious Italian cuisine.
For a starter I chose a simple Tomato Bruschetta, Vito told me it was a small portion but never trust an Italian when they say this haha! There were 4 large slices of bread! Not that I struggled to eat it all to myself like. The tomatoes were so fresh and juicy, and the garlic, oil and basil was aplenty making this bruschetta starter a gorgeous one. I could eat this time and time again.
On this visit I just had to choose the recommended and popular Carbonara for my main, and Vito did not disappoint with this one. A large portion of spaghetti cooked with guanciale(cured pork cheek), egg, pecorino
romano cheese and black pepper (cooked the original Italian way). This was delicious and I ate every last bit!
I think this restaurant would be somewhere great to go for a date or with family and friends for an occasion. See more about Vito’s on their website here.
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