A couple of blocks from the mighty Ohio River and about a mile off I-77, is an Italian restaurant beloved for generations: Williamstown, West Virginia’s Da Vinci’s. My dad — now gone over 10 years — knew the highways and byway of this country and all their “secret” finds. He was proud that I had discovered this restaurant on my own.
Williamstown was known for Fenton glassware and it’s across the river from charming Marietta, Ohio. You may not know it, but West Virginia has many people of Italian heritage: their more diminutive ancestors were hired to work the coal mines.
I would describe the dress as dressy-casual. People waiting for their table have a little nook that’s been designed to look like an outdoor French cafe. French? Hey, don’t ask questions: it’s plenty cute!
Unlike so many Italian restaurants, they have their own pastry chef. This one’s so famous in the region, people make special arrangements to get their wedding cakes made there!
So, I got my food to go, because I had a brand-new puppy in the car with me. They do have outdoor seating in warm weather, though.
The menu focuses on comfort food done really, really well. Their house specialty pasta, Spaghetti Mona Lisa ™, has Vermicelli (small spaghetti noodles) with their delicious meat sauce baked with mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, green peppers and pepperoni on top. I will say that I think that a heavier topping/sauce like that would work better with a heartier pasta, such as ziti. All pasta dishes come with tossed salad that includes chopped pickles — something different — plus garlic cheese bread.
What’s the craziest delicious thing you’ll ever see at an Italian restaurant? German pizza! Their famous German Pizza® has tender corned beef, sauerkraut, stone ground mustard and lots of cheese with a unique German horseradish sauce. I don’t even like sauerkraut, but it works beautifully! It’s tangy like a Reuben sandwich. The crust is clearly house-made and crispy. This pizza comes in several sizes, including personal pizza.
I try not to eat dessert with every meal, but who can resist an in-house pastry chef? Their delicate lemoncello cake with marscapone cheese and lemon icing was worth the splurge.