Best Checkered-Tablecloth Italian

Banchero's Italian Dinners

Go ahead, gain weight the Old-World way by piling on pasta, potatoes, and meat along with family-style soup, chewy-crusted bread, and dessert. The vibe is ’50s-esque with a mid-’70s modernization. Faux wooden tabletops and booths separated by brass-and-glasslike partitions divide the dark, windowless room full of ersatz oils of Italian landmarks and countryside. In short, it’s the Italian restaurant you remember from your childhood. Established sixty years ago as a family restaurant with dinner mainstays like ravioli and spaghetti, fried chicken, steak, and beef tongue (gone today), Banchero’s traditional roots remain. The kitchen serves up red-sauced, working-class Italian comfort food in such gargantuan amounts that the restaurant tagline line is “Food to Take Home.” Takeout is indeed big biz at the often-crowded restaurant, where marinara lovers can wait out the nightly crush in the lounge’s “sunken bar.” Soon they’ll be digging in to minestra, house-dressed tossed green salad, ravioli, an entrée, dessert, and relish plate of salami, olives, pickles, peppers, anchovies, cauliflower. Check out the smaller-portion Early Bird Special Dinners and Early Bird House Wine Specials from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

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