“MONA LISAAAA!” I can see Nat King Cole smiling as he sings the song. Imagine what would happen if he or Leonardo Da Vinci got kickbacks every time Mona Lisa was used. Big, big money.
An old coworker of MG’s was in town. We were meeting up with her and a few other friends. One of them decided upon Mona Lisa.
What you have here is your standard basket of bread. Nothing special, right? Except, what it that stuff at the forefront of the photo? Well, I was told that it was Mona Lisa’s special spread. It is some combination of olives, garlic, oil, and some other spices. Usually, I can’t stand olives, but I really liked this spread. It’s very nice, in small doses, not terribly salty, and possessing a rich complex flavor. It may not be as cool as spreading marrow on toast, but it was definitely worthwhile.
Here’s a closer look at the special blend.
The Fried Mozzarella was as advertised, a big hunk of fried mozzarella. This was pretty great. The cheese was fresh and not too salty. Though it stretched, it wasn’t too stringy. It wasn’t too hefty or too light. If you a fried cheese fan, definitely order this offering.
The Fried Calamari was wonderful, very fresh, very light. Superb! The breading wasn’t too heavy and didn’t retain any of the frying oil. It was the way the dish should be served. Big thumbs up.
What was very interesting was the dipping sauces served alongside the squid. One was the usual marinara sauce. The other was some form of honey based dish. It wasn’t a honey mustard, maybe it wasn’t, I don’t know. They was some honey and something else. I actually preferred it to the marinara. Different, but very complimentary to the calamari.
I got a side of fried cheery peppers with the calamari. They were fried cherry peppers, nothing special. They had some tang and some heat, just what was needed between bits of squidy goodness.
One of MG’s friends got the Penne Vodka. I didn’t try it, but she said that it was a usual order whenever she dined at the restaurant.
MG got some form of chicken dish. There were plenty of mixed vegetables and a nice smattering of rice on the side. She enjoyed it.
I got the salmon dish that was a special. The portion was nice, but the salmon was a little overcooked. The crabmeat atop the fish was not enjoyable at all. The seasoning was nice, but the texture (due to a little to much time on the heat) was off. Perhaps it was just a one off mistake. Considering how good the calamari was, I would give them another shot. Just one though.
The ladies had some Double Chocolate Gelato for dessert. They loved it. I found the mixture of sweet and bittersweet chocolate an unpleasant combination. They liked the mingling of flavors, I thought it was too much for a single dish.
The service is very prompt, and the décor is lovely. Mona Lisa is a fine place for a night out, whether formal or casual. The calamari is a must-order, but proceed with caution when it comes to fish.
Mona Lisa of Newtown
160 South Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470