It’s been a while since the Google Street View team rolled through the village of Amityville, just north of Douglassville.
The images are dated 2008. In today’s world, that’s an eternity. The low-resolution photos were outdated five years ago.
Just navigate along Route 662 north of the intersection with Old Airport Road. On the right-hand side you’ll see Focht Mower Service, a business that closed half a decade ago.
Drive along the road today and there is no sign of Focht’s storefront nor the wooden barn that stood behind it. In its place is a large stone-faced building with red clay roof tiles reminiscent of an Italian grotto.
Vincenzo’s opened in this spot in 2011. The brand-new building was meant to evoke images of Italy. It succeeds, but the whole thing seems out of place in the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch farmland. What feels like the middle of nowhere is actually just five minutes from Route 422.
The interior still looks brand new. The restaurant is split into two dining rooms with frosted glass windows separating the two.
While the decorations lean toward elegant, the booths that line the rooms make it feel like the neighborhood diner. And like a diner, the first thing to arrive at our table was the basket of dinner rolls.
The two rolls looked more like small loafs, warm puffs about five inches around. Not only were they big, they were light and tasty.
Our salads were next to arrive. There was nothing especially noteworthy about the salad, but the mixed greens provided the perfect bridge to dinner. As soon as I laid my fork down from the salad, our entrees were at our table.
Vincenzo’s menu is a large one, with 13 pasta selections, a half-dozen homemade ravioli dishes and more than 20 dishes of seafood, chicken and veal.
When in doubt, I tend to choose the dish named after the restaurant, which is how I decided upon the chicken Vincenzo.
The chicken Vincenzo is two chicken breasts topped with asparagus, mozzarella, red peppers and mushrooms in a white wine sauce.
The chicken breasts themselves were fairly basic: no breading nor seasoning. And while I loved all of the flavors they were cooked with — the sweet wine sauce, the rich mozzarella, the pronounced flavors of the asparagus — it never really soaked into the chicken, making it feel separated from the rest of the dish that I enjoyed so much.
A side of pasta, prepared the same as your meal, is included with every entree. For my side, I opted for linguine. The pasta did a much better job of soaking up the sauce and complimenting the mushrooms and peppers. Mixing a forkful of pasta with the chicken and cheese made all the difference, creating a tasty meal.
Though I enjoyed my plate, I found myself feeling jealous toward Julie and her crab ravioli. Vincenzo’s raviolis were listed as homemade on the menu. From the small sampling of Julie’s meal that I got, I believe it.
The pasta had a unique texture — a little chewier, but not unpleasant — and fuller flavor than my linguine. What really made this dish was the sauce, a white wine cream sauce that was much thicker and heavier than my own. The crab meat brought its distinct richness to the dish, but it blended well with the sauce to create a very enjoyable meal.
When I eventually return, I will be certainly be ordering ravioli. In addition to the flavor, it was also a much more manageable dish. A full chicken breast and half of my pasta ended up going home with us to enjoy for lunch the next day.
Of course with such large portions, there was no room left for dessert. This is a common occurrence at Vincenzo’s, at least according to our waiter who dropped off our bill (about $45) shortly after we had finished our meals.
He had been diligent and attentive all night, not an easy task with the seemingly endless stream of customers that were coming through the restaurant on this Saturday evening. (The parking lot was not an easy place to navigate before or after dinner, with several cars parked on the grass behind the Vincenzo’s sign on Route 662).
Vincenzo’s may not be fine dining, but they clearly have a loyal following. My meal was good; Julie’s was great. It’s not surprising that it has become a popular place in just a few years.
I have no doubt that the next time the Google Street View team does visit Douglassville, Vincenzo’s will still be going strong.