Rico’s Ristorante, East Syracuse NY

Rico’s looks pretty huge when you drive up, and might lead you to think it’s “Red Lobster”, only Italian. But it isn’t. Not even close.

It’s hard to go wrong with any of the appetizers, and the Chicken Pastina Soup with Escarole is a thing of beauty. Except that the rest of the menu looks so good, the soup could easily be a nice meal on it’s own with some good bread and a few glasses of wine.

The Fried Calamari is seasoned and cooked perfectly and served with a nice marinara sauce. It’s really easy to screw up fried calamari and make it boring, or greasy or tough, but Rico’s does it perfectly.

The Tomato Salad with Buffalo-Milk mozzarella has a beautiful well-rounded garlic and oil dressing and we get it almost every time. I’m not sure what’s in the dressing, but any tomato would be proud to be part of the dish. 😎

Entrees of particular note are:

  • Linguine with White Clam Sauce (which  is probably the best I’ve had anywhere)
  • Chicken Marsala
  • Chicken Parmigiana

And while pretty much every Italian restaurant on the planet makes Chicken Parmesan, Rico’s is one of the few restaurants that does it well. Like other simple dishes, Chicken Parm is all about the quality of the ingredients and the skills used in cooking. Rico’s takes the time to flatten the chicken enough that it doesn’t have one big-thick-chewy-monster side and the other thin, overdone (or burned edge). I can’t even begin to tell you how many places do Chicken Parm poorly. This is another dish that Rico’s really has perfected.

Everything on the menu really belongs there, and if you can’t make up your mind, just closing your eyes and pointing to a random item is likely to yield a really nice dinner. It’s hard to go wrong at Rico’s.

Now the only bad part . . .

The service is really slow and the waitress always looks completely overwhelmed, however I can’t blame the waitress, since it looks like she’s responsible for an entire section of the restaurant (maybe 12+ tables?). This isn’t a one-time thing. It’s like that every time we go there. Rico’s is an apparently successful restaurant, they simply need to hire more wait staff and I have no idea why they don’t. Dominic’s is about the same size as Ricos, but things run quite a bit smoother because they have more servers.

One thought on “Rico’s Ristorante, East Syracuse NY

  1. Went back a few nights ago. The food was still awesome, and this time the waitress was too.

    Service was just great! Not sure if they added more staff or replaced someone, but everything was perfect.

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