Chicken Parmigiana from Chiodas Trattoria on Franklin Street in Worcester

Nestled on Franklin Street Chioda’s Trattoria sits in an unassuming building away from some of the more popular dining areas in Worcester; yet once you get inside you step into a comfortable Italian restaurant. Having driven by many times I had often wondered, but never stopped in to this hidden gem. After talking to the pleasant and helpful waitress and looking over the extensive menu I opted to pair a weekday entree special and appetizer as my meal for the evening.

The appetizer was called the Neapolitan which as a stack of portobello mushrooms, mozzarella, prosciutto, and basil, with a balsamic drizzle. For me this was the perfect combination and presentation of some of my favorite ingredients and it hit the mark. The grilled mushrooms topped with thick sliced mozzarella, sliced basil, topped with thin sliced prosciuotto, and topped with a balsamic drizzle was the perfect pairing of ingredients and flavors, with great attention to detail like slicing the fresh basil so that the basil was evenly distributed was a culinary delight. Shortly thereafter my chicken parmigiana arrived and was the perfect size portion of a juicy thick chicken breast accompanied by a good marinara sauce, cheese, and penne pasta. The chicken was perfectly cooked the flavorful sauce accompanied by a few flakes of crushed red pepper on the hearty marinara made for a delicious meal.

To end the meal I opted for a cannoli that was freshly filled and was a perfect blend of crunchy shell with a smooth creamy sweet ricotta filling.

Now folks, here’s what makes this place a hidden gem: I had a great meal, at a nice comfortable friendly restaurant, with a helpful waitress, and spent $32 before tax and tip. That included a beer, appetizer, weekday special entree, and two cannoli. Chioda’s Trattoria offers great food and value at an off the beaten path location, but is definitely worth a visit.