Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sal's: The Best Bread in Williamsburg

Sal’s by Victor Restaurant and Pizzeria is a cozy but classy Italian restaurant located in the Williamsburg Shopping Center, which is at the intersection of Richmond Road and Monticello Avenue. It is tucked into an unassuming corner between Bloom, the grocery store ever-popular with students, and the Hallmark store. Many people, for this reason, have never noticed it. However, if they have, they speak of it with fondness.

When entering Sal’s, the first thing you will notice is the atmosphere. It’s a curious blend of loud families and couples on dates, business meetings and teens going to the prom. It can best be described as a family restaurant, but it has just a touch of class that makes it a suitable location for that slightly fancier dinner. Rarely do you see anyone dressed up, unless it’s the night of a school dance.

Immediately after you sit down you are given the menu, with its almost overwhelming amount of choice, and, soon after you get the drinks, you receive the complimentary bread and butter. The bread is heavenly; slightly warm, soft, and lightly coated with sesame seeds. Recently they have started giving out a tougher, crunchier bread in addition to the loaf of warm, fluffy bread. The butter you are given is just soft enough to spread wonderfully.

More than likely, you will have to ask the waiter for those few more minutes to decide, unless you have discovered a favorite. The menu is an exhaustive list of basically everything that Americans associate with ‘Italian’ cuisine. First, you’ll see a page-long wine list. The appetizers include antipasto, garlic bread, mozzarella sticks, bruschetta, and more. Next, the pasta dishes occupy a large part of the menu. They include ‘the usual’ American Italian restaurant fare like manicotti and lasagna, and some more interesting choices such as rigatoni with broccoli and zucchini, eggplant parmigiana, and linguini with clam sauce. Each pasta dish comes with a fairly hefty house salad. The next page is full of meat dishes like mussels marinara and veal parmigiana. After this you come to the pizza, and finally the foot-long subs. Clearly, this restaurant can serve well for a variety of food moods.

My personal favorite dish is the four-cheese tortellini. It doesn’t look like enough when it arrives at the table, but it is deceptively much more filling than it appears. It consists of large pasta pieces folded over a delicious four cheese blend served in a rich, creamy alfredo sauce. It is exquisitely flavorful and quite hearty.

If that’s not enough, Sal’s has a nice selection of desserts as well. However, on many trips there, I have never found room for dessert, though I know that they bring out a dessert tray that you can peruse.

For the convenience of the college crowd, Sal’s offers both take-out and delivery. The delivery requires a minimum amount purchased, and comes with a surcharge, however.

In conclusion, Sal’s is a delicious restaurant with a friendly atmosphere. It is reasonably priced, no more expensive than most Italian restaurants. It is, in my opinion, one of the best restaurants near campus to go to for any occasion. Go for the bread, and stay for the meals.

Note: This food review was for a class, but I still think it's worth posting.

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