Last night was our first time to Mangia, but it will not be our last! First of all, how anyone could complain about Mangia is beyond us. Yes it is loud. Yes, it is a long night. Yes, you will be seated with strangers if you do not have a large party. Yes, there is dancing. Yes there is a lot of food. ALL of those things are positives! This is not only a place where you will enjoy delicious food; this is a place where you will make a memory that lasts for a lifetime!
Chef Nick greeted us at the door and took us to our seats. We were warmly welcomed and made to feel "at home," right away. Our server was Jessica, and she was extraordinary! We chose to take wine with us, understanding the $15 corkage fee. I started the night with a Mangia-tini (I hope that is the correct title); a fabulous limoncello martini. You will never want a lemon martini anywhere else after you have sipped this delicious concoction! My husband opted for a local IPA that he enjoyed, tremendously.
As the other guests arrived to our table, we all commented how we were nervous about sitting amongst strangers, and after the first 5 minutes of minimal awkwardness, we all became fast friends. Apparently, this is what Nick and his staff refer to as, "Mangia Miracles."
The atmosphere is loud, but I think that is what creates a closeness between the other guests at your table. You have to lean it to talk to one another, which creates a bond of "closeness" with the folks who were strangers just moments before. The bread that is on the table is delicious. Too delicious! Be careful, because you do not want to fill up on the bread! Jessica even cautioned us about this.
Our first course came, and as with every course, Jessica explained to us what it was, and the description was always as wonderful as the first (and last) bite. The fried green olives stuffed with fresh mozzarella was unique, truly Italian and delicious. Fortunately for me, a couple of the folks at our table are not fans of olives, so more for me! These were delicious bites of an experience. Next up were the Italian deviled eggs. Rave reviews from everyone at the table, there were as pleasing to the eye as they were to the palate! As the wine began to flow, we all were completely relaxed around one another, offering words of praise for each bite we sampled and enjoyed! The next antipasti was a Bruschetta with ricotta, spring peas and mint. So light and delicious with a wonderful mint flavor, we were all ready to "lick our plates" at this point. Everything was so delicious, and the perfect portions for each person. Remember to pace yourself, as there is quite a bit more to come! Lemon risotto cakes with Mangia Mayo ended the first course, and they were refreshing, light and incredible. You will find that you over-use adjectives here, but they are not used, loosely. Each one is well-earned by Chef Nick and his staff!
Insalata course is next, with two different salads. The house made herbed croutons were flavorful and light. The spring greens with shaved fennel and fresh orange segments with an orange vinaigrette was the table's favorite. Although, it was difficult to pick a favorite from the two delicious salads.
The pasta course is next. We were all like children on Christmas Eve, eager to see and taste what delightful new experiences Jessica would be bringing to our table next. The shell pasta with beef short rib bolognese was up first. Being allergic to beef, I decided to help myself to what was left of the spring greens and orange segments while the others showered this dish with rave reviews. "Beef like butter" was my husband's description and all guests seemed to greatly enjoy this first pasta course. Next up was the Farfalle pasta with asparagus in a toasted pecan basil cream sauce. Absolutely outstanding! The asparagus was so fresh and the sauce, though creamy, was not heavy. Everything tastes as fresh as it is; as you can see the kitchen in the restaurant, and see the creations being "born"
Now comes the entertainment. Chef Nick heads to the "dance floor" and one of his staff members, a ballroom dancer and he begin to dance. Applause comes from everyone, and then the servers invite the guests to join the floor. Everyone at our table had commented at the beginning of the night that "we are not dancers." No one cares if you cannot dance, because by this point, you are all up on your feet, clapping, smiling, laughing and dancing. Truly a memorable experience to be enjoyed by all!
After the dancing comes the entrata course. A beef course that I sat out, but again asked the others to describe. My husband apologized to me that I was allergic and was "missing out" on this course of wonder. The rosemary lemon chicken with roasted broccoli was next. Tender, moist, juicy chicken was absolutely fabulous. By this point, we realized that our evening would be winding to a close soon, and quite frankly, we were sorry to see the night come to an end. To say that Mangia is "fun" is a grand understatement.
Our dessert was limoncello semifreddo ... a light, creamy, cool, refreshing "experience." So delicious, I was looking around to make sure everyone at the table was finishing their dessert, because I would have been a glutton and finished their dessert, too! It was so delicious that you enjoy every single bite, just as you did the first. The zeppole that is served in individual bags with the powdered sugar on the bottom is a sweet, significant ending to your meal. These Italian doughnut/pastries mark what the entire night is about ... "sweet."
Knowing ahead of time that we would be dining for three hours, and that the atmosphere is loud only slightly prepared us for the night. You just cannot be prepared for that kind of "wonderful" until you experience it yourself. With the Godfather playing on the television screens, upbeat, fun, music that is played (and sung) all night makes your face sore by the end of the night from all of the smiling. An experience to be savored and remembered by all, Nick has created an atmosphere that is likely a glimpse into Heaven. A celebratory evening to just enjoy and celebrate being alive!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.