Dona Vito's Italian Grille
 Youngstown, Ohio      Date of Visit: 05/20/11         No Known Website

We just did some home renovation and knowing it would send our little bubbies into fits of hysteria we sent them to Y-town, to a place we have come to call Uncle John’s Bubbie Wonderland. He is fond of spoiling our little monsters. The bonus being we got to head over to pick them up and find something to eat. John had found a coupon for a place we had never been to before and off we went. Dona Vito’s is in the location previously occupied by the Blue Wolf Tavern in Struthers which moved to Boardman and apparently went way downhill, at least for our visit.


Good Italian Bread...A Must

We were greeted by the manager/hostess who really struck my Mom as friendly and on the ball. We walked through the crowded dining room and had a little table all to ourselves just off the bar. The server was on the ball and upon arrival at our table told us about the special. Talk about special. Walleye BOGO! For $11, you get two pounds of walleye and two sides.

I don’t know if you have priced walleye lately but get two pounds from the supermarket and see if you can get just the fish for $11. We also wanted to try some of the Italian options, I mean the place is called Dona Vito’s, so what else are you going to do. We ordered chicken francaise and chicken parm with angel hair. Our standard “how is the Italian here” go to options.


Sparse but Tasty


Hot Chips and French Onion Dip


Good bread and butter hit the table and we saw a basket of hot chips go by and ordered one as an appetizer. The salads were sparse but fresh and the gorgonzola vinaigrette was a nice addition, bright and sharp. The chips arrived piping hot and didn’t seem to have any distinguishable salt which was helped by the French onion dip that straddled the bowl of chips.

The entrees arrived in rapid fashion. The chicken francaise featured well done chicken but highlighted something that would be a theme for the Italian portion of the evening. The sauces were good but not special in any way. Other local places have sauces that are so memorable that you crave a specific place on a specific night just for that particular gravy. Just not the case here.


Lots of Chicken Parmesan

Good Chicken...Passable Sauce


Mash with the Francaise

Hard to Get the Scale but the Plate is Huge and So Are The Walleye and Potato

The chicken parm comes with two big pieces of chicken and a nicely cooked pasta but again the sauce lacks any real distinction. Plenty on the plates here. But the fish…it’s a deal sure...but is there a reason for it being such a deal? Not that I can tell. Three whole filets arrived alongside a baked potato that you could hollow out and take into the wilderness to use as a canoe. The fish is fresh and flaky. How they manage at that price point is really something. They may not have the best sauces in the area but you are assured of getting some really tasty chow at Dona Vita’s. You would have to work exceptionally hard to leave hungry or without a great deal.




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