SOMERVILLE – One of the best restaurants you’ve never heard of is a Phantom favorite for Italian food in Somerville. It’s called Vinny’s at Night. For years, it was just a convenience store, but now it is an Italian deli by day, and Italian restaurant by night.
First, the deli. For Phantom Gourmet’s Dave Andelman, the go-to sandwich is either the piled-high classic Italian sub, or a delicioua giant meatball sub.
“The beauty of the cold cuts is, if you order an Italian you watch the bread getting cut, and you watch the stuff getting sliced fresh,” explained chef and owner Vinny Migliore.
If you make your way through the deli, in the back you will find Vinny’s at Night, one of the best kept secrets for Italian food, anywhere.
The menu is loaded with Sicilian specialties, and tons and tons of delicious red sauce.
“I don’t brag too much about anything, but the sauce is unbeatable,” Vinny said. “I’ll put my sauce up against anybody from here to New York to Sicily. I said Bobby Flay, if he wants to have a throw down, get him down here. We’ll make sauce together and see who comes out on top.”
There is no better way to start a meal than with Vinny’s antipasto. It is jammed with meats, and cheeses and vegetables.
“The cold cuts are all fresh. The olives are the real olives. I use balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil. That’s what makes the salad that good,” Vinny explained.
One of the best appetizers is their Shrimp Grand Marnier, made with plump shrimp, tomato sauce, garlic, and a little bit of Grand Marnier liquor.
The Pasta Al Forno is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. It is a Sicilian version of lasagna, layered with cheese, eggs, mushrooms, peas, and eggplant. They cook each ingredient separately, so it’s a lot of labor, but it definitely pays off in taste.
The seafood dishes are incredible, the cod with basil and tomato sauce over a mafalde pasta.
“We boil the tomatoes, then sauté in garlic, scallions, onions, and we throw the tomato in,” described Vinny. “That’s the sauce, it’s real fresh tomato.”
This is an impressive Veal Osso Bucco served over risotto.
“It’s a veal shank, and you sear the juices in on both sides,” Vinny said. “Then you sauté onions, carrots, and celery, chicken stock, red wine, put it in the oven for like three hours. And as you notice, the meat just literally falls off the bone.”
As you would expect, the chicken parm is phenomenal. A giant piece of chicken with tons of cheese and red sauce, and a delicious fusilli pasta on the side.
One of the best thing on the menu, according to Phantom Gourmet’s Dave Andelman, is the double thick pork chop with sweet peppers and broccoli rabe. He says nobody does this dish better than Vinny.
If you have room for dessert, try the fresh-filled cannoli or the homemade tiramisu.
At Vinny’s it’s always crowded, it’s always loud, the food is amazing, and everybody is having a good time. You can find Vinny’s At Night at 76 Broadway in Somerville, and online at vinnysatnight.com.
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.