As I’ve mentioned here before, I am always looking for a good Italian restaurant. On a recent evening, my female friend and I found ourselves hungry and in the eastern suburbs. I pulled up Urbanspoon on my phone to see what restaurants were close by, and D’Imperio’s was on the list. “Perfect,” I thought. “The name doesn’t include the words ‘olive’ or ‘garden’, nor does it end in an exclamation point.”
D’Imperio’s is located on William Penn Highway, somewhat oddly placed in a large parking lot behind a Wendy’s and a Popeye’s Chicken. All that is visible from the road is an arrow-shaped D’Imperio’s sign atop a very high pole pointing towards the place. As my female friend and I walked towards the front door from my car, the sounds of opera music hit my ears and I knew this was going to be my kind of place.
D’Imperio’s menu doesn’t offer a huge number of entrees which is a plus in my book. I counted only eleven entrees but found the choices to be sufficient. When a restaurant has 100 entrees from which to choose, I’m afraid I might order the worst seller whose main ingredient has probably been sitting in a cooler for a week or two. With a smaller menu, they’re probably selling a good amount of each dish and therefore the ingredients are more likely to be fresh. The menu features a few seafood dishes, a couple pasta and steak dishes, veal and rack of lamb. Prices range from $15.95 for Spaghettini Al Pesto to $29.00 for filet mignon. There were two specials the Monday night we were there, a veal chop and orange roughy romano.
My lovely date ordered the Cheese Ravioli Tomato Basil ($16.95), and I settled on something with perhaps the longest name ever, Pappardelle Joe Cocco, Seafood and Mushrooms in light tomato cream ($26.00). Each entrée comes with a cup of soup or a salad, and a vegetable for the non-pasta entrees.
After taking our orders, our waitress brought a basket of crusty Italian bread and a soup cup full of seasoned olive oil to dip our bread. My companion commented that she wished they had given us grated cheese for the oil like other places do, but I was fine with just olive oil. We both ordered the house dressing with our salads. Our salads were a nice helping of fresh, leafy greens with grape tomatoes, celery and red bell pepper. Oddly, the house dressing was almost void of flavor. It tasted like olive oil and not much else. It was bland but by the time I finished, I found that I enjoyed being able to taste the greens and the other vegetables in the salad.
Our entrees arrived looking and smelling delicious. The waitress then offered to sprinkle grated cheese on our entrees for us. I don’t think anyone
has sprinkled grated cheese on my pasta since my mom did it for me when I was a kid, but it was a nice touch. My Pappardelle Joe Cocco looked incredible. It included a couple scallops, a couple large shrimp, a sizable portion of orange roughy, a splash of fresh crab meat and the fettuccine covered in a pink tomato cream sauce. It was fabulous. The sauce was a blend of savory and sweet, and the seafood was cooked well. The orange roughy was flaky and moist, and the crab meat added a nice touch of richness.
My female friend graciously offered a whole ravioli to me, and it, too, was delicious. The ricotta filling was light and fluffy, and the basil tomato sauce was almost as good as mom’s.
I’ll definitely return to D’Imperio’s when I’m out that way. The food and service were both very good.
Find D’Imperio’s on the web at dimperiosrestaurant.com.D'Imperio's,