Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Veano's Italian Kitchen trying to recapture the magic

One of our local favorite restaurants was Veano’s Italian Kitchen which was located at the intersection of Loudon Road and East Side Drive on the Concord Heights. The food was consistently good and we became regular diners. Then Walgreens came along and made an offer to lease the land from the restaurant owners. Since it was an offer they couldn't refuse, Veano’s closed and the pharmacy was built. A few years passed and much to the locals delight Veano’s reopened in Pembroke. You can bet that we were one of the first to try the new location but they seemed to have lost some of their spark after the change in location. The food was just okay and the service poor so we decided to give them a long break. After a lengthy hiatus it was time to see if they had recaptured the magic.

We arrived on a weekday to a restaurant that was not very busy. After requesting a booth, we were quickly seated.

Our waitress stopped by and gave us a nice greeting and we settled in for what we hoped would be a pleasant evening. We almost always start out with an order of their onion rings and tonight was no different.

Cooked to a crispy golden brown these were delicious.

My wife and I both ordered the Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti. All of the meals come with your choice of soup, cole slaw or salad. My selection was the cole slaw:

A light dressing along with fresh cabbage makes this one of the best I have had in the area. Most restaurants don't take the time to get it right and they do here.

My wife chose the chicken & rice soup:

After adding some salt and pepper, she deemed it tasty but wished there was more chicken in the soup.

The Chicken Parmesan has always been one of my top picks at Veano's but I was a little disappointed tonight:

The sauce had a funny taste and after we left the restaurant my wife made the same comment. All of the components were there but not as good as we remember from the past.

Our server was a pleasant surprise and much better that we had seen from our previous visits. A smile goes a long way and so does saying thank you and getting the basics right.

Veano’s has some work to do to recapture their former magic. The food quality isn't what it was and the service, although much improved, needs to be friendly and efficient on a consistent basis. There are two Veano's locations with each operated separately. This review is for the restaurant at 16 Sheep Davis Road in Pembroke.