Best Italian Restaurant (Cheap)

Filomena's Italian Kitchen

Filomena's Italian Kitchen, the charming, fast-casual restaurant housed in a former Wolf Camera shop, combines convenience with the satisfaction of a home-cooked meal. There is no pomp and circumstance — it's mamma's cooking, lovingly packed up as if she is forcing leftovers on her children after a Sunday supper. Guests order at the counter and either take the food to go or plop down at one of the dining tables. Regardless, everything is served in a to-go container. There is (gasp) no beer or wine, although the restaurant allows customers to bring their own without a corkage fee. The menu itself is small: appetizers, soups and salads, basic pasta dishes (penne or spaghetti with meat or marinara sauce), sandwiches and precisely four entrées. The arancini might be the best dish here. The crisp exterior, flash-fried to a golden brown, gives way to risotto, which then gives way to a molten cheese core, and the side of marinara adds a garlicky accent. The lasagna is also a winner; the generous slab oozes with sauce, meat and a blend of cheeses. The "Fil's Gerber" sandwich envelopes ham and cheese in a decadent garlic bread and will change your life. If you are expecting to be wined and dined Bellagio style, Filomena's is not the place for you. However, if you pine for some Italian TLC, it satisfies.

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