I was scrolling through Facebook one day last week when I saw something about Joe’s Italian Ristorante in Long Beach.
Really? I thought. I hadn’t heard anything about it. I looked it up. The original is in Slidell, but the one in Long Beach is on Klondyke Road, not far from the fork off Pineville Road. That makes it especially handy. I checked out the menu and headed over the next day.
Joe’s has nice carved wooden chairs with cushions that invite you to stay and enjoy. I was there for lunch, so I looked over the lunch specials. My eyes stopped on Chicken Della Casa ($8.50). I asked my server, Kelsey, about the dish, and she unabashedly raved about it. Apparently it’s very popular with customers, too. I went with it and a glass of water with lemon.
In a few minutes, three impressive garlic rolls arrived. There’s plenty of real butter available, but these fresh, chewy rolls really don’t need any gilding. Enjoy them just as they are. Well, enjoy one neat or use it to sop up the sauce from your entree. Speaking of, each lunch special arrives with the garlic rolls and a side salad. I selected the house dressing, a creamy Italian that has just a touch of sweetness to match the tanginess.
OK, for the Chicken Della Casa. The dish arrives looking like a shallow bowl of spinach dip, but it’s actually a generous serving of spinach-rich, creamy Alfredo sauce covering chicken breast and angel hair pasta. Can you think of anything more comforting on a windy, overcast, slightly chilly day? I was quite happy. There was plenty left over for lunch the next day, and it’s just as good after a reheat.
All dishes are made to order, the bread is baked twice a day, and sauces are house made.
The restaurant opened Oct. 10, spurred by the number of western Mississippi Gulf Coast customers who had been making the trip to the Slidell location.
In addition to my entree, other popular dishes are Lobster & Shrimp Ravioli ($15.95), Veal Parmesan ($14.95) and the restaurant’s signature Lasagna ($10.95 dinner, $7.95 lunch special). You might also consider Scampi Alla Palermo ($15.95), classic shrimp dish with butter, lemon, white wine sauce with garlic and tomatoes over linguini; two seafood combo options each at $15.95; Chicken Cacciatore ($12.95 dinner, $8.50 lunch special), sauteed chicken breast with mushrooms, bell peppers and onions in a marinara sauce; or Veal Marsala ($15.95), sauteed veal scalloppini with mushrooms in a marsala wine brown gravy sauce.
Joe’s Italian Ristorante
Where: 229 Klondyke Road, Long Beach
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Lunch specials are available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.