Dining Out – Landini Brothers Inc.
Landini Brothers Inc.
Celebrating 35 years of bringing Tuscany to Alexandria, we thought it time to share this experience with our readers. Certainly we know the restaurant, as we have been customers for over 25 years. Over the years some things have changed, we have grown older, some employees have gone and new ones have come on board, but the quality of food served and the service has been consistently great. If you check the yelp reviews you will find that most are overwhelmingly favorable but there are a few that are negative. I do believe that most of those folks are negative by nature and really don’t get the true dining experience. They should stay at the “Garden”.
Ever since I began going to Landini’s (as the locals call it), I was impressed with the volume of business they did, and not just on weekends, but during the week as well. I soon learned that this was the place that attracted politicians, celebrities, the well-heeled and regular folks like me. It is a place you can make your own.
The bar is usually filled with regulars on any given day of the week and especially at happy hour, although there are no special drink prices, the seats are always filled. During the day the bar becomes a place for many locals and visitors to grab lunch. There is an extensive lunch menu with 6 to 8 specials added each day. The prices are reasonable with pastas going from $12.95 to $14.95 with the option to place a half order for $9.95. The other entrees, including their popular veal, come in at $14.95. They also offer an assortment of Panini sandwiches with either their truffle French fries or delicious potato salad. My favorites for lunch are half orders of either Penne alla Romana with sweet Italian sausage or Linguine alle Vongole Rosse…baby clams in a white sauce. These pasta dishes also come with a house salad.
The veal dishes at Landini’s our renowned for their flavor and texture. If you happen by the restaurant around 3 in the afternoon, you can hear the kitchen staff pounding the veal to the right tenderness. My all time favorite for dinner is Scaloppine di Vitello Landini, or simply put…Veal Landini for $28.95. This is milk fed veal sautéed in butter, white wine, homemade brown sauce, mushrooms, melted mozzarella cheese and asparagus. Top this off with one of their spectacular wines, and you are set for a fantastic evening. The dinner pastas range from Agnolotti alla Fiorentina, fresh homemade pasta filled with spinach, ricotta cheese, and sautéed in butter, cream and Parmesan cheese for $17.95 to Linguine alle Pescatora, sea scallops, shrimp, baby clams mussels and squid sautéed in garlic, red pepper and white wine for $22.95. As with lunch, you may also place a half order for dinner pastas.
Even though this is an Italian restaurant, Landini’s also offers a selection of 5 different steak dinners from a 14 oz. Prime sirloin to an 8 oz. Sirloin Kebab. The steaks are thick and juicy and cooked just right. Currently they offer the highest in USDA grade beef in quality and intramuscular fat. Only about 2.9% of beef in the United States meets this level of quality.
Our favorite soup is their onion soup, which is only served on Wednesdays. It is a beef broth packed with fresh onion with a piece of bread with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on the bread. The soup is hearty and very tasty and you don’t have to fight the melted cheese found on French onion soup. The salads range from the finely sliced avocado, tomato, and steamed asparagus dressed with a silky vinaigrette to the popular Insalata di Fagioli, white beans tossed with fresh leeks, avocado, shrimp, and jumbo lump crab meat.
Walking into Landini’s you will step back into the time that these old warehouses were built. Centuries old stonewalls and slate floors are set off by white linen and works of art. Old wooden beams and support posts still show where they were hand cut. When the restaurant was enlarged some years ago, you can see where the cut was made through the foot and half stonewall that now joins the two front dining rooms. Upstairs is the wine room, which is used for special gatherings. The glass enclosed wine cellar holds over 7,000 bottles of some of the best wine in the world. Owners Franco and is son Noe have spared no expense to make this a world class dining experience. Congratulations on 35 years of excellence!
Written by: Bob Tagert