A month ago my wife and I treated ourselves to a night on the town without the kids. After checking in to the Cincinnatian we walked up Vine Street toward Over-the-Rhine to check out some of the recently opened establishments we had yet to visit. Though before getting too far north we decided to stop into Scotti’s Italian Restaurant, a place we had both wanted to try for quite some time.
Scotti’s has been a family-owned and family-run establishment since 1911. Inside was like nothing I have ever seen before. The quaint dining room walls are completely covered with random tiles along with old pictures and memorabilia.
Old Italian wine bottles hang from the ceiling, while other bottles can be found on each table holding a candle resting on a sometimes massive pile of old dripped wax. There is certainly a lot of charm inside.
Most entrées include a cup of soup, an Italian salad, along with bread and butter. Garlic bread can also be ordered with fresh garlic, parsley, and olive oil for $2.50 per order. I’m not much of a soup person, but the minestrone style soup was actually very good. It was rich on flavor and had a ton of pasta rings floating throughout.
The salad was our second course and it was also delicious. Most of the vegetables were shredded giving it a somewhat coleslaw vibe, while the dressing was an overall sweet vinaigrette style dressing but it had an awesome tartness that I really loved.
For dinner I enjoyed the manicotti speciale ($21 including the above). The ricotta cheese was outstanding and the tomato sauce was of pure Italian style. The serving size was manageable, though I still have to stuff myself pretty good to conquer all three courses.
My wife went with the eggplant ala rusticana ($23.50 including the above and a side of pasta). The eggplant was a generously thick slice and was so soft it nearly melted in my mouth. While both meals were great, I think the eggplant stole the show.
The dining room is small, so reservations are recommended. Though if there is room they will definitely do their best to seat any walk-ins like ourselves. Service can be very direct and to the point, but don’t be surprised at the occasional grin and chuckle. The only thing that needs to change are the restrooms downstairs, which are in desperate need for a renovation.