While it may have taken an age to build Osteria, when it finally opened the parking lot was packed. And we know why: the secret sauce of reasonably priced, well-prepared Italian dishes, a convivial house that’s not too noisy, and adept and friendly service (shout out to our lovely server, Linda!).
There’s nothing out of the box about this spot, but these are the places that seem to do best on the Shoreline: crowd-pleasing pasta, parmagianas, and pizza. And yes, the pizza! It’s Neapolitan Certified (a set of strict guidelines ensuring quality and authenticity), and the pie is the real deal. Our Margarita was the precise combo of skinny pie, chewy crust, tasty sauce, and fresh mozz. Such a simple thing but hard to get right. You won’t go wrong with Arancini and Fried Artichokes to start (along with a pizza to share). My daughter’s crispy Chicken Parm was not the usual mound of cheese, sauce, and bird, but a delicate version of a crispy cutlet, a sprinkle of cheese and sauce, and elevated with a side of handmade strozzapreti.
After so many apps, I couldn’t handle a main, so I chose another starter, a garlicky and spicy Calabrian shrimp with a toasted baguette to slurp up every bit of the buttery sauce. Linda offered that I could also order the shrimp over pasta as an entree. Next time! If you’ve got room, share the cheesecake for dessert.
745 Boston Post Rd, Old Saybrook, CT