Many years ago, “Vinny Testa’s” opened in Natick, MA with a lot of fanfare, garlic and pasta. This was not “The Paradise” in “Big Night”, and there wasn’t any “timpano”, but for the uninitiated, “VT’s” was an Italian restaurant that served food in HUGE portions…or at least that’s what they wanted you to believe. In reality, it was a normal portion of food served with an abnormally large amount of pasta.
The prices, in today’s world, were pretty unreasonable (because frankly, I can buy a pound of pasta at Stop & Shop for $1.09), but they introduced the roasted garlic bulb to the consuming public. They had a couple of dishes that I actually enjoyed but the place itself was just adequate. It was the first place I had “Farfalle Con Pollo” or bowtie pasta with chicken and broccoli. That dish was quite good, in its day. Loaded with garlic…it was a gift that kept on giving for days and days. In fact, there was so much garlic that my co-workers could tell that I had eaten there, before I even came to work.
A few years ago, something changed. I think the parent company was sold, and the name was changed to “Vinny T’s of Boston.” I think the mix of a new parent company and the upswing of anti-pasta (pretty punny, eh?) diets such as Atkins and South Beach sounded the death knell for restaurants that relied so much on the consumption of pasta. “Vinny T’s” changed up their menu a little, but they never regained the status from their glory days, if there ever were any. Driving by the Natick location, I noticed the place was dark. Dark, as in the casket lid is down and nailed shut. Visiting their web site, they regret to inform us that the Natick location has closed. Though I don’t know if it’s the menu, the economy or the lease, can the other locations be far behind? Alas, poor Vinny T, I knew him well.
You’ve been great. Enjoy Louis Prima…