Share This Page

Dining: Capri in Natrona Heights delights diners with simple, homemade Italian dishes

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 7:12 p.m.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Manager/owner Fiorella Barone with the linguini and clams, left, the roasted red peppers with chicken, right, homemade bread and a dinner salad at The Capri restaurant in Harrison Township on Saturday, July 20, 2013.

BACKGROUND

Customers walk into the small, bustling Capri Restaurant along Freeport Road in Natrona Heights and immediately feel welcome. Aromas of freshly baked foods waft through the air tempting palates with the promise of delicious, homemade Italian food.

No sooner than your party is settled into a booth or table, drinks arrive, and the feasting begins.

The Capri Restaurant in Natrona Heights has been in business for 21 years, and the Barone family has the routine down pat.

From 1991 until '98, Capri was located where the former Howard Johnson's restaurant was in Heights Plaza.

Throughout the years, the food selection has remained the same — large portions and all. This is homemade Italian food prepared from scratch daily by all the family members who work there.

ATMOSPHERE

The Capri is a family restaurant where customers like their food, and ample quantities of it. As one diner noted: you won't ever go home hungry from this place.

The glass entryway splits the restaurant into two dining rooms filled with tables and comfy booths.

MENU

In the past, we have enjoyed the pizza available at Capri, but we were here for dinner and passed on the pizza offerings to focus on the rest of the menu and its homemade platters. We can already vouch for how good the pizza is.

The entrees were created — and prepared, in most cases — by momma Caterina, a talented woman in her 70s who was born in Naples, Italy, and returns there every summer for a few weeks with her family (Hence, the Capri was closed from July 29 to Aug. 20). While in Italy, she looks for new trends in Italian dishes that she can add to the menu when she returns to Capri's kitchen.

“We use simple ingredients, and that's the key — everything's fresh,” owner-manager Fiorella Barone says. All the meals are based on her mother's recipes and made from scratch every day.

While we waited for a dinner companion to arrive, we ordered Fried Zucchini ($5.75) and Fried Mushrooms ($5.75) to share. Both were served with marinara. The slender lengths of zucchini were breaded and crispy. The same breading coated the mushroom buttons.

The fresh salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, ripe olive slices and red onions was large enough to satisfy our hunger without ever touching the entree. That didn't stop us from sampling our platters though. Caterina's homemade Lasagna ($12.50) was large enough for two meals. The portion was the size of a large brick, but there was nothing heavy about these layers of noodles stuffed with ricotta cheese and meat.

The basket of fresh bread that accompanied our meals was homemade and still warm. We passed out the whipped butter cups and were in heaven.

The Grilled Salmon Platter ($17) featured a filet of salmon that was marinated in a balsamic dressing and arrived on a bed of sauteed spinach. For our side potato, we selected fries. We also had a bowl of the homemade wedding soup filled with large meatballs, spinach and acine di pepe pasta in a savory broth. Barone says she is sometimes surprised by how popular soup is, even in the sweltering heat of summer, but every day a new batch is made.

Turns out, we enjoyed one of Capri's most popular meals, the Roasted Red Peppers and Chicken ($13), a spicy mix of sauteed chunks of chicken and strips of red pepper over rigatoni with marinara.

We also opted for the homemade Ravioli ($12), stuffed with cheese and covered in sauce.

There are homemade desserts on the menu, too. But we had no more room to indulge. As it was, we came away with plenty of leftovers. We do wish we would have taken home a couple of large Cannoli alla Siciliana ($4.25) or Limoncello Cake ($4.25), among other selections. Next time.

Rebecca Killian is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-46649 or rkillian@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.