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Riella's Homestyle - Levittown

Riella's Homestyle
3103 N. Jerusalem Avenue
Levittown, NY 11756

Storefront, parking in front and rear

Fried Calamari

Shrimp Oreganata over Spaghetti

Chicken Riella

Overall: 8/10
Food: 9/10
Service: 8/10
Decor: 7/10
Value: 7/10

Open for just over a month, Riella's Homestyle is the newest Italian restaurant to hit the area. We were thinking--Oh great, another Italian restaurant--but we were pleasantly surprised when we went there for dinner tonight.

When we first walked in, we noticed the beautiful hostess stand with Zicana gemstone surfaces, truly unique and a stand out feature. There is also beautiful lighting throughout, but the layout is a little different since the restaurant is somewhat split down the middle for both the restaurant and the pizzeria. Seems at first like there should be one less table and a larger waiting area, but there are actually couches in the back where you can wait comfortably.

Unfortunately we weren't approached or even acknowledged for several minutes as the hostess stand was empty. Another couple was waiting in the tiny entrance area as well and asked a nearby bus person if there was anyone to seat them. He just put his hands up in the air like he didn't know what was going on and went to go get her. Finally the hostess came out from the back, and afterwards, service turned around 100 percent.

We were set up with a high chair, and our lovely waitress Gabriella came over to introduce herself. She was very friendly and patient and so sweet with our kids. For an appetizer, we ordered Fried Calamari and soon after, a plate of Bruschetta and a basket of bread along with sauce were brought to the table, which we weren't expecting. Also to our surprise, the sodas were brought out in jumbo wine glasses which was a nice classy touch. As for the Bruschetta, it was absolutely fantastic--crispy bread, fresh diced tomatoes, red onion, and a sweet balsamic glaze.

The Fried Calamari was good, not necessarily our favorite because it was verging on chewy, but the sauce put it over the top. Their homemade tomato sauce is simple but what we'd consider to be the perfect tomato sauce where the tomato really shines and isn't masked by all sorts of herbs. We would buy jars of it it we could!

For our entrees (served with either Salad or Pasta) we decided on the Shrimp Oreganata over Spaghetti, and Chicken Riella with a side salad. The kids got Spaghetti with a Meatball to split. The salad was the quintessential Italian salad with the addition of roasted red peppers, pepperoncini and olives as well as red onion and tomatoes. The Italian dressing was just delicious, even our 3 year old was asking for bite after bite.

Both the Shrimp Oreganata and Chicken Riella were dishes we will be craving for weeks to come. 8 jumbo shrimp in a garlic, lemon and white wine sauce topped with toasted breadcrumbs over a large plate of spaghetti was more than enough food for one person, yet it was almost completely devoured because of how good it was. The Chicken Riella was a very large portion as well--crispy chicken cutlet topped with prosciutto, mozzarella with a mushroom, wine and onion sauce. I was only able to eat one half of one piece since we had the calamari and bruschetta beforehand, and I don't think I have ever been so happy to have leftovers!

We were thinking about taking home dessert, but we weren't that interested by the options. Cannoli Dip was a possibility, and the other options were New York Style Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust, the same with Strawberry, or Tiramisu. The desserts are made in house, and judging on the quality of food, they are all probably scrumptious. There is always next time!

There's an adjoining pizzeria as well that we briefly checked out. They have pizzas we've never seen before--what looked like a shrimp scampi pizza, also baked clam pizza--and it was pretty crowded too. They're obviously doing something right!

One thing they are certainly doing right is staying up to date with trends and technology. Waitstaff puts orders into an iPad, which we briefly spoke about. It turns out the order goes directly to the kitchen after it is put in. That means no writing it down, going to a computer, printing a ticket, giving it to the kitchen, etc. The shorter time between the customer ordering and the kitchen firing was certainly noticed, as they had a full house and dishes came out in no time at all. Pretty efficient and impressive, especially for a new restaurant. We will definitely be ordering pizza very soon from Riella's and returning for another great meal!

Riella's Homestyle on Urbanspoon

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