Dining Review – Monte Cello’s – Wexford

Monte Cello’s Wexford                                                                       By: Suz Pisano

Serving up so much more that pizza, Monte Cello’s in Wexford wowed us with fresh ingredients, delicious recipes and a hometown charm that’s undeniable, all within this family owned and operated business. I might be a bit partial to family businesses, but with many pizza chains serving up frozen, pre-fabricated products, it great to find a restaurant like Monte Cello’s; one that lives up to its family values and tradition of serving nothing but fresh, homemade dishes.   Monte Cello’s supplies fresh dough and ingredients daily to all their locations, which are known mainly for their great pizzas.  This month, I want to focus on the “much more than pizza” aspect of their Wexford location.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love just a great pizza, but Monte Cello’s offers much more, such as their signature appetizers like Pepperoni Rolls ($7.99) and Buffalo Chicken Rolls ($8.99); I could have eaten an entire order of these, they were simply delicious. They’re just little pillow puffs wrapped around cheese and your choice of pepperoni or spicy chicken, with marinara sauce or ranch dressing for dipping.  Spinach Rolls ($7.99) are also on the menu, but those will have to wait until my next visit. Wings ($9.99/12 per order) are available with your choice of rubs or sauces: Sauces–Hot, Mild, Honey BBQ, Bourbon, Garlic, General Tso’s; Dry Rubs–Cajun, Wing Dust, Smokey BBQ, or Ranch.    The Banana Peppers ($8.99) were also a favorite with the Nightwire crew- fresh banana peppers hollowed and stuffed with seasoned ground veal and sausage, covered with sauce and cheese, then baked to perfection.  My favorite appetizer of all time has to be their Fried Zucchini ($7.99) though. Monte Cello’s does not disappoint with its thinly sliced zucchini, gently breaded then deep fried, not greasy, just simply moist and delicious.

Grilled Gourmet Burgers include choices like the Texas Style Burger ($10.99) a real two hander! A 1/2 lb. burger with bubbly melted cheddar, topped with onion rings and served with a side of golden brown fries and barbecue sauce.  The California Burger ($10.99) is grilled and topped with fresh sliced avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion and a homemade, roasted garlic mayonnaise.  Other options include the Buffalo, Blackened or Bacon & Cheddar Burgers.  Consider yourself warned–burgers are large and served with a healthy helping of fries, so you better have an appetite!

You’ll find classic Italian entrees at Monte Cello’s like Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan, Baked Ziti, Lasagna, Stuffed Shells or Pasta Primavera. The Chicken Parmesan ($13.99) was a hands down favorite of the Nightwire crew. The chicken was moist and tender, lightly breaded and topped with lots of bubbling cheese, served with a side of pasta, a definite winner! The Pasta Primavera ($11.99) includes your choice of pasta, topped with fresh vegetables, sautéed in an oil and garlic sauce, and served with mini garlic bread with cheese. Aw…simply scrumptious! The choices seem endless with dishes like Meatball Casserole ($12.99), four large meatballs over a bed of pasta, covered with sauce and cheese and baked; or Crab Ravioli ($14.99), ravioli stuffed with Blue Crab, tossed in a light lobster sauce and topped with sun dried tomatoes.

Veal dishes include Veal Parmesan ($15.99) and their Meat and Cheese Lasagna ($12.99). Two-thirds of a pound of pasta, meat and cheese, there’s a reason this is an all-time favorite. If you’re a fan of vegetarian options, you want to try a Monte Cello’s dinner favorite- the Zucchini Parmesan ($10.99). Fresh sliced and breaded zucchini, deep-fried, covered with sauce, cheese, baked and served with a side of pasta. Salmon, Chicken Madeira and a New York Strip Steak round out the plentiful dinner offerings. There is literally something for everyone with an appetite in this section of their extensive menu.

For lighter fare, Monte Cello’s offers a variety of salads.  Our favorite was the Caramelized Walnut and Apple Salad ($10.99) with caramelized walnuts over a bed of spring mix topped with a grilled chicken breast and accented with Granny Smith apples. This salad was served with a side of champagne vinaigrette dressing which compliments it perfectly.  The Steak Salad ($10.99) was expertly prepared; the steak was done perfectly, so tender and juicy it melted in your mouth. Served on top of a fresh bed of greens, red peppers, fresh mushrooms, French fries, and topped off with shredded cheddar cheese, it is a more filling option than the Walnut and Apple Salad.   I have to mention the Homemade Italian Wedding Soup ($3.25 cup & $3.99 bowl). It’s homemade and delicious, a true Italian classic, and available daily, in addition to the homemade soup of the day.  They also offer a plethora of sandwiches, wraps, and hot hoagies.

Make sure you save room for dessert, Monte Cello’s bakery fresh treats await!  Fresh Carrot Cake and Chocolate Cake are their staples, and seasonal favorites are available. What a perfect ending to a perfect meal!  There truly is something for everyone; with an extensive menu, full of large portions and reasonable prices, Monte Cello’s is definitely one of our favorites.  Their commitment to quality and great service will keep you coming back!

Monte Cello’s in Wexford has been totally remodeled; the transformation is inviting and relaxing, making Monte Cello’s a truly a great place to dine. Or stop in and watch the game at the bar with large screen TV’s, happy hour specials and an abundance of beer and cocktail choices. Check out their website where you can sign up for their email club, peruse the menu, get directions, learn about other locations, or even better use their Mobile VIP app; you can join the Mobile VIP club by texting MONTES to 41242.

Open 7 days a week – Monday thru Thursday 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Friday and Saturday 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM, Sunday 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Located at 10441 Perry Highway in Wexford.

If you haven’t tried been to Monte Cello’s lately, you definitely need to check them out in Wexford or their North Hills location – 2198 Babcock Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15209. Phone: 412-821-0600.