Some of you may know that my favourite cuisine is Italian and I’m always down for some pizza and pasta in Hamilton. Romano’s has apparently been around for a while but this was the first time I’ve heard of them. They’re located all the way in the East end on the Mountain in Stoney Creek. The restaurant is cozy, warm with modern European decor, sectioned dining areas and a partially open kitchen. Staff are all welcoming and knowledgeable about the menu. I came here twice within a month, so you can tell how much I already love them.
During my first visit, I came with Jen (@tastehamont) and Heather (@ham_smallfries). We wanted a variety of dishes and so we went with the Lamb Shank ($24.99), Linguine Pescatore ($19.99), and the Siciliana Pizza ($14.99). The chef surprised us with 3 amazing appetizers: Seafood Platter ($32.99), Arancini ($12.99), and Warmed Olives!
The Seafood Platter is a must if you love mussels, calamari, and jumbo shrimp. It’s a great app to share with the table and the amount of food is just shocking, like I could just eat this for my entree and be satisfied. Mussels in an aromatic and flavourful tomato broth, perfectly deep fried calamari with a delicious crispy crunch, and jumbo shrimp with a bouncy bite.
The Arancini sat on a bed of red tomato sauce with fresh green herb olive oil, then topped with shredded cheese and sprouts. We pulled apart so many of them to get the perfect cheese-pull shot! The olives were a great side to have on the table because we nibbled on them throughout our dinner. We were a bit concerned for our entrees because we stuffed ourselves silly with all the appetizers! They came altogether and we were stunned by the portions – definitely had to leave with doggy bags.
The linguine was loaded with shellfish, shrimp, and coated with a heated tomato sauce. The tender lamb shank rested on risotto and sauteed rapini. There was so much meat on the bone, I was ready to eat it Flintestone’s-style and not care about mannerisms. San Marzano, cacciatore sausage, black olives, caramelized onions, and mozzarella covered our pizza pie! Mmmm… we also struggled hard to finish it and had to take it home.
I was in-love with the food and the friendly faces at Romano’s, I had to share it with my family. I brought my mom and grandma during my second visit a couple weeks later. We ordered Cozze Alla Marinara (mussels – $14.99) to start, which were sweet and tasted like fresh ocean meat. The Linguine Pescatore was a must because seafood pasta is my mom’s favourite! And lastly, we ordered the Chicken Parmigiana ($18.99). I usually avoid ordering chicken breast because I prefer the tenderness of dark meat. But I’m glad we decided on this dish. Best chicken parm I’ve ever had and the chicken was cooked perfectly. The juicy meat was encased in a crunchy crust that soaked up all the sauce in the pasta.
Service was fantastic during both visits and the chef carried out consistent dishes. The menu has a range of classic Italian dishes presented in an appealing way without being over-the-top. The prices are reasonable considering you get heaping amounts of food that taste comforting yet refined. Romano’s is definitely one of my top go-to Italian joints in Hamilton now! Can’t get enough!
Romano’s Ristorante provided the complimentary meal, opinions expressed are my own.