First off, let me explain that this is not just any review, and not just any reviewer for this restaurant. Way back in 1988, when I was a flight student at Falcon Field, I watched the original Anzio Landing restaurant being built. I ate there on the day it opened. I took my wife there on our first date. My wife and I had our wedding reception in their banquet room, and even though we moved out of state a few years later, we have returned several times over the years to our special place.
Our last visit prior to this one was five years ago. Apparently, since that time, it was sold to a new owner, and very recently the original location at the airport was closed and a new location near Las Sendas was opened. We decided to make a reservation for Saturday night, and went to the new location hoping the food and/or charm that made it such a unique and special place would still be there.
We were soundly disappointed. None of the character of the old place was brought over to the new restaurant. Sure, it's dressed up as an Italian restaurant, with stonework and Italian flourishes, but the things that made the old location so special were nowhere to be seen. None of the aviation decor was present; obviously the special view of the airplanes taking off and landing was gone; the high ceilings and bright lighting made it feel more like an average strip-mall restaurant than "our place." Nowhere was there any indication of the history of the brand that Anzio Landing once was, nor an explanation of the name (which was a play on words referring both to the airport location and to the WWII invasion of Italy by the Allied Forces). Clearly, they've moved on from what made this restaurant unique and special.
So, nostalgia aside, I wanted to rate the new place on its merit as an Italian restaurant. In this department, it was merely so-so. I ordered the lasagna and my wife ordered a chicken dish. The food arrived fairly quickly, but it was a bit bland. The house salad was a basic salad with a mediocre Italian dressing. The lasagna was piping hot throughout, and the noodles were limp, as if it had been frozen previously, then microwaved. Portions were fairly sized.
Service was good. We were met with a friendly greeting at the front door, and were quickly shown to our table. Our waiter, who was a young man, balanced making sure we were attended with leaving us to our conversation. We never felt neglected, and we never needed anything. Just right.
Overall, it was an average experience at an average Italian restaurant. Anzio Landing, once a place oozing character, has become just another place to grab a quick dinner, or perhaps have a drink at the bar and watch a game.
Hopefully, someone will buy out the building at the old location in the airport and try to make a go of it as another restaurant.
Note to Trip Advisor: the correct name of the restaurant is "Anzio Landing," not "Anzio's Landing." Please correct it in your database.
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