in Westwood offers a culinary trifecta. Owner John Sambogna bustles back and forth from pizzeria to restaurant serving as John-of-all-trades; his son-in-law, Johnny, helps out with management, while Sambogna’s daughter, Blair, serves as the restaurant’s in-house pastry chef extraordinaire. Together they help make Pompilio’s a go-to destination when local families want a friendly, economical dining option with a diverse menu that’s sure to offer something for everyone.
A recent extension to the existing original pizzeria business, the family restaurant offers delicious Italian fare prepared and served with a homemade touch. The expansion and renovation now boasts an inviting and spacious dining room featuring attractive wood floors and brick walls adorned with family photos and other Italian-themed decorative touches. The serving staff is friendly and attentive.
Priding themselves on offering the “freshest and finest ingredients possible,” Sambogna and his team also keep clients’ wallets in mind. Family-style dining includes plates for two to three people at less than $20. Be sure to check out the restaurant’s weekly specials, which change from Friday to Friday. All specials include pasta and salad. The restaurant’s BYOB policy also helps to keep prices down and the atmosphere casual and family-style.
Offering further price incentives, the restaurant treats its clients to periodic promotional specials. For instance, if you tried one of the desserts and mentioned the ad special, you could receive a free cappuccino, espresso, coffee or tea with your dinner.
“I just felt there was a need for a family restaurant that’s inexpensive, but where people can still enjoy good quality food,” Sambogna explained.
Deciding to test how well the restaurant lives up to Sambogna’s vision, my fellow diners and I paid them a visit recently. We’re happy to report that when it comes to his culinary and cost claims, he’s right on the money. And the quality goes hand in plate with the quantity of choices. We had a tough time going through the extensive menu, which boasts traditional and gourmet pizzas, Stromboli, calzones and knots, hot and cold heroes, grilled burgers, palate-pleasing pastas all served with homemade marinara sauce and bread, as well as a tempting assortment of chicken, veal, seafood and eggplant entrees. (All entrees come with a choice of salad or pasta.)
There are also appetizers, such as Buffalo chicken wings ($6.95), Jalapeno hot poppers ($6.95) and fried calamari served with homemade hot or sweet sauce ($8.95); from the salad section, you can enjoy offerings such as a classic house salad ($3.95), antipasto ($7.95) and grilled salmon Caesar salad ($8.95). Those seeking a hearty soup can take their pick from the house special, a savory pasta fagioli or one of the varying soups of the day ($2.50, cup; $3.25, bowl).
After much deliberation, we finally made our selections and discovered they were all winners. One of that evening’s special, a stuffed Mahi Mahi ($14.95) was succulent and well-seasoned; a Chicken Naples, chicken sautéed with sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and white wine sauce ($11.95), got a review of “awesome” and a scrumptious Veal Sorrentino ($13.95), sautéed veal layered with eggplant, melted mozzarella cheese and mushrooms in a sherry wine sauce, made you forget your manners and resort to sopping up the sauce with chunks of hot crusty bread so you wouldn’t miss one delicious drop.
The portion sizes left just enough room for coffee and dessert. A good thing too because it would have been a shame to have to pass up on the homemade, baked-on-premises desserts and specialty cakes created by Blair, who graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. We indulged our sweet tooth with a light and flaky Pompie Puff ($3.95), a creamy and delicious cannoli ($3.75) and a big slice of a sinfully decadent chocolate cake ($5.50). Other diners also topped off their meals with steaming cups of frothy cappuccino from the new espresso bar.
The restaurant, located at 223 Westwood Ave. in Westwood, is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner; full-service delivery and private parties are also available and Pompilio’s Coffee House, featuring live entertainment, is fast becoming a popular draw. Major credit cards are accepted.