I made a pit stop in London, KY while traveling alone. I was in the mood for Italian and I had heard that The Gondolier was very good so I decided to dine here. The inside decor was very pretty. It was simple and classic but wasn't dull. The booths and tables were pretty and the space was well maintained. The hostess who greeted me was very friendly and escorted me to my table. I was greeted by my server, Trevor, promptly. He also brought a basket of breadsticks and marinara sauce. He took my drink and appetizer order and brought them out quickly. I ordered my dish which came with a house salad or soup.
Within a couple of minutes my salad was brought to the table and the calamari came out almost immediately. I only waited for my Chicken Tortellini Alfredo for just a few minutes and it was then brought out.
Starting with the breadsticks.... They were huge. They were at least twice the size of chain Italian restaurant breadsticks and they were seasoned with just a hint of garlic. To me it was perfect. The marinara for dipping was very very good. The calamari was hot and soft in texture. It also came with a side of marinara and I also asked for some ranch dressing and mixed the ranch and marinara together to dip the calamari in. The salad was your standard garden salad with dinner. It was fresh and crisp and good overall. The chicken Alfredo tortellini was huge. The cheese filled tortellini was delicious. The chicken was average. Nothing really stood out about it except for the tenderness and slight grilled flavor. I don't think the Alfredo was homemade but it could have used some more butter. Overall, it was very good. I was in no way disappointed. If you like a more seasoned Alfredo you may not love it. I added pepper, crushed red pepper, Parmesan cheese, and a smidgen of salt and it was just fine.
I was impressed by the attentiveness of the staff. For example, an employee saw me carrying the two boxes and a cup of sweet tea for the road and offered me a bag. She even helped me bag the food. Everyone I passed thanked me for stopping in. The waiter was so attentive and prompt. My food was so hot and fresh it had to have just hit the window when he brought it.
The section of the dining room I was seated in was about 1/4 of the way full and that included a large party. The noise level of the restaurant was comfortable. It wasn't too loud and it didn't feel too stiff.
I took the leftovers back to the hotel and before I boxed up the tortellini, I added the leftover marinara sauce to the Alfredo and it was great as leftovers. The calamari was surprisingly good as leftovers too.
So the bottom line.... My food was very good. It was average Italian fare. The Gondolier is a very small chain and they do a very good job. Now... Is it as flavorful and authentic as other Italian places out there? Not really. I prefer the Gondolier over Johnny Carino's and Carraba's but the Olive Garden is my fave. With that being said, I hope this review gives you and idea of the flavors offered. I like trying new things and would probably try another type of dish. They offered burgers and wraps for those who aren't Italian crazy as well as pizzas and a wide variety of Italian offerings. I would dine again. It tasted like something your spouse would make you on a date night.... Great but not gourmet. Very good though. Very very good.l
Cost $25.00. I left a $6.00 tip.
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