Delicious Authentic Italian from Lago Trattoria| 05.02.19
The Downside: Not Recommended for Young Children; Higher Price Point; Service Can Be Slow
Mountain Rating: 8.4/10
Lago Trattoria has been a Newport staple for 19+ years. Serving authentic, award winning, Italian cuisine, the menu is filled with those classic dishes you know and love.
This menu is so much more than pasta – and the antipasti (appetizer) menu can satisfy many cravings.
There are a few dishes we consistently return to, such as the calamari, tuna Carpaccio, and stuffed pork chop. You can read about them in our last feature. This line up provides a fantastic meal, but there is so much more to choose from.
Recently, when we dined at Lago’s restaurant in Newport, VT we were looking to try a few other popular items. We couldn’t pass up the tuna Carpaccio, but decided to try Nona’s Meatballs as an appetizer. These are made using Frank’s (the owner/chef) grandmother’s recipe. Three large meat balls dressed with ‘gravy’ (red marinara sauce – house made from scratch) graced the plate.
Upon arrival, my mouth immediately began to water – they smelled wonderful. I couldn’t wait to take a bite – and I wasn’t disappointed. ‘The meatballs were soft and moist, filled with herb flavor, and were complemented by the acidic tang from the marinara.
These are hands down the best meatballs I have eaten in the Kingdom thus far!
With our apps, we enjoyed a few cocktails. My husband ordered his martini, but I went with something from their signature cocktail menu, the cucumber martini, refreshing and delicious.
For the main entrée, I ordered the Cinghiali Al Pappardelle while my husband decided to try their rack of lamb.
Pappardelle refers to the type of pasta, a wide rectangular shaped noodle. This pasta was served with wild boar, braised 8 hours until it virtually melts in your mouth. Both are then tossed with the house marinara. The meat had a wild game flavored, mellowed by the braising process and then cut by the tomato sauce leaving a pleasant flavor in your mouth. If you’re a pasta fan – this dish is a must try.
The dish is very filling and I was only able to eat about a third of it. But, the next day my leftovers made a fantastic lunch.
My husband’s rack of lamb was served over mashed potatoes with a side of roasted asparagus. The meat was coated with a sweet maple reduction adding a sugary sweetness to the more musty lamb flavor. Perfectly cooked to a medium temperature, the meat fell off the bones and was well seasoned. Though we were both soon full, we couldn’t help but keep picking at the lamb.
We also decided to give dessert a try. On this night we chose the lemon cake – a white sponge layered with lemon frosting. The citrus was a good way to end our meal on a bright note without adding anymore heavy food to our already full bellies.
The restaurant quickly fills up, especially on Friday and Saturday nights so reservations are recommended. The bar plays different sporting events especially baseball bringing in a number of viewers, while the two dining rooms are crowded with hungry people happy to enjoy the food.
The whole space is decorated simply, with a lot of wood tones. Wine bottles and wine crates, artfully stacked and placed, provide much of the decorative element other artwork depicts Newport, black and white scenes, sports, and more.
Service can sometimes be a bit slow. But a great wine menu, cocktail list, and apps help with the wait – and the food is worth it.
Make Lago’s one of the Newport restaurants you try the next time you are in town. Though I would not recommend this as a family restaurant, it is a great place for after work cocktail and drinks, or to bring family and friends who are visiting.
For More Information and their Full Menu