Ilio DiPaolo’s

3785 South Park Avenue

Blasdell, New York

Wrestling legend Ilio DiPaolo was a giant of a man with a giant heart. Anyone who remembers going to his restaurant so many years ago will remember his great big smile and the warmth and friendliness one felt being greeted by this wonderful man, as if being personally welcomed into his home for dinner. He set the bar for what a family restaurant was supposed to be. Everyone was welcome and everyone was “Gumba!”. Today, Dennis and Michael DiPaolo, the DiPaolo Family, and staff, continue the tradition.

As expected, from the moment we walked in we were treated warmly and made to feel like the most important customers in the place. Our waitress was bubbly, entertaining, and seemed to enjoy opening our bottle of wine, Montepulciano di Abruzzo, as much as we enjoyed tasting it. First came our visit by Aldo who checked in to see that everything was to our satisfaction. Then Dennis came by to say hello and to see how the family is doing. DiPaolo’s sure knows how to do it right.

The stuffed mushrooms, smothered in parmesan cheese with fresh lemon, were yummy. The salads were tasty, except Ms. Diner whined the whole time how much she dislikes iceberg, that there wasn’t enough green leaf, and that Mr. Diner got all the chick peas. Mr. Diner’s salad was perfect, with balsamic vinegarette and crumbly bleu cheese. Mr. Diner ordered his favorite Ilio’s dish, veal parmesan with a side of penne. Mr. Diner goes on record saying that Ilio DiPaolo’s has the best veal parm in the Eastern United States. Ms. Diner was less impressed with her lasagna and thought it could have used a bit more meat.

So it seems that it was a split decision: Mr. Diner loved his meal and Ms. Diner not as much, today. We both agreed that the service was outstanding, our meals were a great value, and we will definitely be coming back again.

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