Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reale's - Austin, TX - August 28, 2010

Unfortunately for Italian food in Austin, the dreadful Romeo's and the terminally disappointing Mandola's get a lot of ink.  After that all that is left are chains (Maggiano's has been reviewed on this site).  A restaurant that doesn't get as much hype as it should is Reale's, which is absolutely the best red-sauce Italian restaurant in Austin.  It is go-to comfort food for my wife and me.  When I first moved to Austin I couldn't find decent Italian food similar to the great red sauce Italian restaurants found in San Antonio 20 years ago (Caparelli's comes to mind).  Then I went to Reale's and my search was over.

The first time I had manicotti I was a child on a family vacation and the manicotti was made by my cousin.  I was hooked.  What could be better than enchiladas?  How about Italian enchiladas?  That's how I viewed them as a kid and how I continue to describe them today.

Our meals at Reale's start with an appetizer, bruchetta - basil, olive oil, garlic, mozzarella, and tomatoes on top of toasted French Bread.  It's wonderful, full of garlic and basil flavors that meld with the mozzarella.  I've managed to copy the Reale's version (an upcoming post) and am very pleased with the results.

Entrees are followed by a salad with the house dressing.  The dressing has a nice vinegary bite that, paired with the bread sticks, could be a meal all themselves.

The manicotti is one of my top ten meals.  Thin and light manicotti tubes are filled with a tasty Béchamel that isn't overly creamy and is seasoned well.  Reale's marinara sauce is full of garlic and wine flavor (I still haven't been able to duplicate the sauce), and it is perfect on top of the manicotti.  The flavor is complimentary to the filling and is also great on it's own.  I always finish up the sauce on my plate with a bread stick.

The Reale's waitstaff is always on the ball and they help make the dining experience even better.  We've been eating there for seven years and most of the servers I have seen there for all seven.  The restaurant is family owned and they do make patrons feel welcome.  Highly recommended.

1 comment:

  1. i actually enjoy mandola's. the child's spaghetti and meatballs is perfect!