There is certainly no shortage of Italian restaurants in Rhode Island and we probably have some of the best around if you ask me. Just take a stroll down Historic Federal Hill in Providence which is inundated with a seemingly endless selection of Italian eateries. When it comes to Italian food, why leave Providence? Well, that’s how I felt until I discovered La Masseria located in scenic East Greenwich, RI.
Upon entering the restaurant, you immediately feel like you have been transported to the Italian Countryside. Mosaic tile floors, iron sconces, brick archways, and other rustic decor give the interior a charming feel. According to the owners, “La Masseria comes from ancient farmhouses where classic dishes utilized the freshest natural ingredients harvested from land and sea.” Without even looking at the menu, I was sold, and not to mention very hungry!
We started with the “Mozzarella Farcita Dello Chef” (shown in the main picture above). This house made mozzarella cheese was stuffed with spinach and cucumbers and topped with juicy tomatoes. It was perfect in its simplicity and freshness. We were all blown away by this dish and would highly recommend it. The outer layer of mozzarella was creamy and moist. It literally left me salivating!
“Polpette Di Manzo Della Masseria”
Our server recommended the “Polpette Di Manzo” stating these were the best meatballs he had ever eaten! That’s a bold statement…However, I must admit, La Masseria makes a pretty damn good meatballs. Are they the best? Not sure if I can say that but I can’t really blame anyone who thinks they are. They are definitely towards the top of my list and probably the best meatballs I have had a long time.
The meatballs are made fresh daily with ground sirloin. Yes, you read that right – SIRLOIN. You won’t find ground chuck around here or worse, pre-cooked frozen meat mounds. At La Masseria, you’ll discover that their meatballs are just as juicy and tender as cut of steak would be. These are a must try!
“Risotto Del Giorno” – Saffron Risotto with Shrimp and Squash Blossoms
I have to admit, I imagined this to look differently. I thought it would have been served in a bowl and topped with some whole shrimp and beautiful squash blossoms as garnish. Instead, it arrived on a round plate with all of the ingredients chopped up and mixed in with the risotto. The presentation was lacking in my opinion.
It’s tough to find a good risotto and unfortunately this was not my favorite. The consistency was a bit off because it clumped together more than it should have. However, the creamy richness made up for some of the negatives. It was buttery and velvety and it soaked up the flavor of the sea from the shrimp.
Overall, it was a decent dish. Close but no cigar…
The dessert menu…we were so full, we didn’t even bother to open it
Our server tried to convince us to try the Vanilla Flavored Ricotta Cheesecake. According to him, it’s the best he’s ever tried. And based on his credible recommendation of the meatballs, I’d be willing to give it a shot. Maybe next time…
I was impressed by the authenticity of La Masseria. Very rarely do I venture to the same restaurant twice because I like the excitement of trying someplace new. However, at the end of my meal, I told the others who I dined with, “I would love to try this place again.” This is the highest compliment of all in my book. Whether to go for dinner or just to enjoy a drink at the bar, I expect to return to La Masseria again sometime very soon.