Mama Ricotta’s BONUS!

It’s your lucky day, Charlotte Spooners! Mike and I went back to Mama Ricotta’s Restaurant after our first delicious experience, and I want to tell you about my newest tasty discoveries. If you can believe it, our second trip was even more satisfying than the first!

For this meal, we started with an interesting appetizer: 1853 Mama Ricotta Chips. The menu says these crisp delights were “inspired by the first potato chip on record.” They’re freshly made, thin potato chips with crumbled gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, and sea salt. When I took my first bite, I was a tad disappointed because it sure didn’t compare to the Warm Goat Cheese and Mascarpone Dip we had last time. As I continued chomping, however, these crispy treats really grew on me. They come out piping hot with a rustic taste, and the cheese and herbs have a fresh flavor.

1853 Mama Ricotta Chips
1853 Mama Ricotta Chips

While the appetizer was a bit tame (but still good!), we sure spiced things up quickly! I chose the absolutely out-of-this-world Penne Alla Vodka for my entrée. I was hesitant to order it because it sounded too simple to be amazing, but I’m glad I took the risk. The picture can’t possibly hint at the flavor packed into these little penne pastas. Bits of sautéed pancetta (a.k.a. heaven!) are nestled among the noodles and the dish is covered in a “pepper vodka, spicy tomato cream sauce.” The slight spice, indulgent pancetta, and bold but smooth tomato flavor really impressed me!

Mama Ricotta's Penne Alla Vodka
Mama Ricotta’s Penne Alla Vodka

Despite how fantastic my entrée was, I can’t decide if it was better than Mike’s — which just goes to show you how consistently exceptional the Mama Ricotta’s kitchen is. Mike chose a non-pasta dish, Pollo Bianco, which is described on the menu as, “Scallopini-style chicken layered with prosciutto and mozzarella in a Chianti wild mushroom sauce.” Scallopini-style refers to the chicken breast being thinly sliced. This dish offered the same comfort as mom’s warm meatloaf and mashed potatoes while substituting more sophisticated flavors: the Chianti wild mushroom sauce was savory, herby, and delicious. The chicken, prosciutto, and mushroom combination offered a perfect blend of textures and flavor. Adding to the warm comfort food appeal of this dish, grilled vegetables and creamy garlic mashed potatoes accompany the chicken (the potatoes are perfect for sopping!).

Mama Ricotta's Pollo Bianco
Mama Ricotta’s Pollo Bianco

Finally, and probably most importantly, Mama Ricotta’s scored big time with our amazing dessert, the Nutella Pie. You know Nutella — it’s that decadent, creamy hazelnut spread. This huge pie combines nutella hazelnut, chocolate, and dulce de leche on a graham cracker crust. Despite the super-sweet combination, the pie wasn’t cloying at all — rather, the nutty hazelnut and spicy graham cracker crust kept it grounded and rich. What it was, however, was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had! Mike and I cleaned our plate, licked our forks, and sat back to enjoy the sugar coma. If (and when) you go to Mama Ricotta’s, don’t let this dessert pass you by!

Mama Ricotta's Nutella Pie
Mama Ricotta’s Nutella Pie

I hope you enjoyed this little Italian bonus, and I wouldn’t altogether rule out more “bonus” posts from this fantastic restaurant; Mike and I are gearing up to be regular customers.

Have you experienced the love of Mama Ricotta’s Restaurant? Did you visit after reading The Charlotte Spoon’s last review? HAVE YOU TRIED THE NUTELLA PIE? Share your thoughts by clicking on the “Comments” link below.

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11 responses to “Mama Ricotta’s BONUS!

  1. OMGoodness…… We have to go there… 🙂

  2. I love Mama Ricotta’s! Honestly I have never had anything that wasn’t delicious there and guests I’ve taken have not been disappointed. It is the best Italian restaurant in Charlotte for me.
    The Nutella pie is amazing, but then again, all of their desserts are wonderful. I just never have room to eat them. I don’t know how you eat all that!

    I love your reviews–keep them coming!

  3. It’s fantastic! You’ll love the pie.

  4. Rhonda,

    Thanks for reading! Glad you’re enjoying all the food talk 🙂

    As for how I eat all this, it involves eating very little the rest of the day — HA! And even then I have to stuff. Thankfully Mike’s a big guy and he can handle the leftovers.

    I completely agree about Mama Ricotta’s being one of the best Italian places in Charlotte, and I’m impressed with how reasonably priced it is, considering the quality of the food!

  5. Your photo of the penna alla vodka is making me drool. It’s one of the best dishes at Mama R’s!

  6. It was definitely a heavenly experience, CL! I’m craving it all the time now.

  7. I almost 100% agree with your glowing review of Mama Ricotta’s. I’ve never had an app or entree that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy! I do however disagree with your Nutella Pie review. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Nutella, nothing like a fresh loaf of Challah bread and a jar of Nutella. I started to get giddy after seeing the menu but I was left wanting more… more Nutella.. less peanut butter. Actually thought about emailing the owner to suggest a variation – one that I’ve yet to create. 🙂 With the response from your readers I doubt they’d change a thing.

  8. Hi Dan!

    I can see that, actually. I do agree that the predominant flavor was peanut butter (although it was more of a creamy, smooth taste than your typical dusty peanut taste) and that there could’ve been more nutella. I love both flavors, so I didn’t mind the proportions, but I get where you’re coming from!

    If you ever create a variation, count Mike and I in for dessert at your place 🙂

  9. That Nutella Pie…oh my God!!!! It was sooooooo good! It was truly one of the greatest desserts that I have ordered thus far. My girlfriends and I went to Mama Ricotta’s one day for lunch and everything was great, but that pie was exceptional! They get 6 thumbs up from my girls and I!!!

  10. We always get family style of the penne so we have leftovers! The pie is to die for!

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