Tour of Italy from Chioda's Trattoria on Frankling Street in Worcester

During another snowy and blustery evening, one we have grown accustomed to in this never ending winter, the Foodies ventured out to Chioda’s Trattoria on Franklin Street. Just a stones throw away from Vincent’s, Chiodas overlooks Shrewsbury Street and the train yard for CSX. Upon entering, you are immediately transported to an old-style Italian eatery with tight quarters, rustic walls and Italian décor that surrounded you. The décor was stereotypical Italian restaurant that it was almost a cliché, but it reminded you of being at home, about to be served a nice home-cooked meal.

To start the meal, we decided on the Neopolitan. This delightful appetizer was composed of layers of fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, portobello mushroom & prosciutto topped with balsamic vinegar dressing. Think of a stacked bruschetta with the addition of portobello mushrooms and salty prosciutto. This was a wonderful way to start the meal…the mozzarella was creamy, while you got some bite and tang from the tomato and the balsamic vinegar. The portobello mushroom was a wonderful addition as it added a meaty taste to the dish, while being complemented by the salty Italian ham.

For my main attraction, I decided to order the Tour of Italy, which came with a side salad. This was a compilation of Chiodas greatest hits all on one plate and smothered in a sweet, but tangy red sauce. The Tour of Italy consisted of two stuffed shells, a small portion of eggplant parmigiano, a small portion of chicken parmigiano, a spicy sausage and a house-made meatball. The rectangular plate that was presented in front of me looked amazing, and smelled even better. The two shells were cooked al dente and the ricotta cheese filling was partially melted on the inside. The chicken and eggplant parm had a delicate breading on them that crisped up nicely when they were fried. It was not too heavy or overpowering, and the eggplant almost had to taste and texture of something more meaty and substantial than a vegetable…delicious! The sausage was slightly spicy and had good snap to it when you bit into it. It was a nice mellow heat that lingered as you continued eating. Probably the best part of the meal was the house-made meatball. You could tell that they used at least two different meats in making the meatballs when you cut it in half and had a chance to look at the cross-section. There were different colors imparted by the different meats, while studded with herbs and other seasonings. It was juicy and flavorful.

This meal is everything you could want from your classic Italian restaurant; personalized service, friendly wait staff, fabulous food, huge portions and a great value. If you are ever in the mood for great Italian food, and want to get away from the hustle and bustle that the main streets of Worcester tend to have, I would highly recommend making the trip to Chiodas. You will not be disappointed and you will not leave hungry.

Christmas shopping for fine art collectibles and inspiration at Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton, MA