I finally made it back to Chianti’s. You may recall that the last time I visited, I left without eating.
Actually, I left without even sitting down. I had made a reservation at the new pizza and pasteria for a Saturday evening. What they didn’t tell me when I called was that there was also a wedding party booked for the same time. Not a rehearsal dinner, not a reception — a wedding and a reception. The group had already witnessed the vows and were just settling in for food and drink when my friend and I arrived. Not wanting to be part of a party I wasn’t invited to, I chose to leave. (That was the night I wound up at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe, which I reviewed here.)
But a couple of weeks later, I had to meet someone in that part of town, so I suggested we lunch at Chianti’s. I found it to be a very pleasant, enjoyable meal.
My companion ordered the lobster ravioli, which was offered as a special of the day, meaning that it included a Caesar salad. And it was a nice salad, with crispy romaine lettuce and light Caesarean dressing that actually had a hint of anchovy in the mix, something too many local salad makers fail to render unto their Caesars.
The ravioli were thick pillows filled with sweet lobster meat. They were served in a light cream sauce with just a tinge of tomato.
Since Chianti’s considers itself a pizzeria, I chose the 14-inch version of the one called Chianti Big Meat Pizza. The pizza itself was very good, a thin crust with a nice elasticity to the dough, not too thick or chewy. The delicate tomato sauce served as an appropriate platform for the mozzarella cheese and the meats, which included sausage, pepperoni, meatball, salami and ham. My only complaint was that there were too few of the meats, really for any pizza but especially one called Big Meat. Bigger meats, please.
For dessert we shared an order of cannoncini, which are similar in appearance to cannoli, and in fact are filled with a thick, sweet filling. But instead of a flaky pastry shell, cannoncini are made with something more akin to a cruller; more donut-like than cookie-like. I like.
Service was friendly and welcoming. The space is small (too small for a wedding party unless they buy the place out for a night, but don’t get me started again). It occupies a corner space in a group of out-buildings in the shadow of Seminole Towne Center mall. Lots of windows make the space bright. A food counter that looks into the kitchen communicates a downscale air, but white tablecloths and burgundy cloth napkins raise it up a little.
It’s a nice little place to grab a bite.
Chianit’s Pizza & Pasta is at 685 Towne Center Blvd. Sanford. It is open for lunch and dinner daily, until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Here’s a link to chiantispizza.com. The phone number is 407-878-5900.