2124 Tremont Center
Upper Arlington, OH 43221
Moretti’s of Arlington is about as old-school as you can get in an Italian restaurant – low-lit with plenty of space for socializing. The restaurant is host to massive, massive portions of pasta in generous plates just about any way you like it. Definitely with a following among the older crowd in northwest Columbus, expect this place to be full – and loud – as groups enjoy the ambiance and the company. There’s something enduring about finding a classic kind of Italian restaurant that’s all about the substance over form.
It’s all pasta and Italian classics on this menu. What I liked:
- Bread: Yes, you get a massive loaf of Italian bread with your order, oftentimes with a mixed garlic butter.
- House Salad: Why yes, that’s pasta in the salad! It’s stuffed with green beans, tomatoes, onions and romaine lettuce for a salad that’s anything but light.
- Chicken Piccata: This cut of chicken is very, very lemon forward, and served in a bed of green beans, mushrooms, capers and a ton of sauce. Homey on a cold day.
- Lasagna: Sheets of pasta topped amply with tons of cheese and stuffed with big helpings of beef and tomato sauce. Of course, this one is best with a little parmesan on the top.
- Spaghetti: The classic, this pasta comes with chunky, fruity tomato sauce on top, but it’s far enhanced with Italian sausage.
- Fettuccine Alfredo: The pasta sauce here is extra creamy and very thick. The bowl of pasta comes with plenty of it, too. Here’s where some of that bread really does come in handy.
- Chicken noodle soup: Yep, another chance to add in pasta. This appetizer is very simple, chicken, broth, spaghetti and vegetables. One of the few light things you’ll find on this menu.
The relatively compact dining room is often host to friendly, happily rambunctious crews of locals, and depending on your scene for a date it’s just the right kind of crowd to have around on a happy night. The food has an average wait time – it is an old-fashioned restaurant after all – so grab a glass of wine and expect to settle in for a little quality time.
Columbus, specifically northwest Columbus, is home to oh so many good Italian food haunts. So it can at times be hard to find a favorite and stick with it. In this case, though, the reputation as a longstanding favorite is deserved. Go for the memorable atmosphere, if nothing else.
- There are a few notable bar specials on certain nights that make some dishes much cheaper or some drinks. Check out the website.
- A good selection of wines here.
- Seats at the bar offer what I think is a perfectly good experience for food often a little faster and quieter than the tables, which are often crowded at mealtime.