This holiday season, enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at Bianca’s Ristorante Italiano

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Bianca’s popular Chicken Piccata is so good the chef of a popular cruise line changed his recipe when the restaurant’s owner Debbie Amata and her family were cruising the Mediterranean this summer. (Photography: Felicia Vargo)

By Mitch Allen

If you’re looking to celebrate the holidays with dining, carry-out, or catering—or you’ve grown tired of ham and turkey—look to Bianca’s Ristorante Italiano, a family-owned tradition for over twenty years.

Owner Debbie Amata, along with her daughters Dianne Mennemeyer and Denise Witherspoon, serve up delicious and authentic Italian fare prepared in their scratch kitchen.

“Virtually everything we serve is made from scratch,” Debbie says. “It’s just how we do things.”

The Chicken Piccata
The most popular item on the Bianca’s menu is the Chicken Piccata—hand-battered boneless chicken breast in a sauce of lemon, wine, and capers. Here’s just how good it is: In July, the family visited Italy on a Mediterranean cruise and were excited to see chicken piccata on the menu, but when the dish arrived, it wasn’t very good.

“We didn’t eat it,” Debbie shares. “The server asked, and we told him it was fine, just not what we’re used to.”

Afterward the chef came to the table. “I hear you guys own an Italian restaurant back in the states,” he said. “How do you make your chicken piccata?”

Debbie revealed her recipe. “Come back tomorrow night and I will prepare it your way,” the chef invited.

“The next night it was delicious,” Debbie says. “He nailed it. He even said he was going to speak to their corporate chef about changing their recipe to ours.”

The Arancini is hand-rolled balls of breaded and fried risotto stuffed with fresh mozzarella.
The Veal Milanese is crisp veal cutlets served over spinach with tomato, mozzarella, and a balsamic drizzle, with a side of penne rosa.

More Favorites
Other fan favorites at Bianca’s include the Original Chops Romano (herb-crusted pork chops served with redskin potatoes), and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo prepared with cream, fresh-ground pecorino cheese, and garlic. You can also add chicken and broccoli or shrimp.

But before your entrée, consider the Arancini, hand-rolled balls of breaded and fried risotto stuffed with fresh mozzarella, or the Sicilian Firecrackers, which is stuffed artichokes, goat cheese, and banana peppers flash fried and served over a lemon basil sauce.

Carry-out and Catering
Bianca’s offers a popular carry-out menu for couples and families. The Italian Dinner for 4 features one large pasta dish with a house sauce, four dinner salads, four meatballs, and one order of garlic bread with cheese. It’s a family feast for just $39.95.

The carry-out menu also includes the Romantic Dinner for 2, which is one chicken piccata, one chicken marsala, two pastas, two dinner salads, two cannoli desserts, and a bottle of house wine. It’s a great date night at home for $59.95.

Debbie’s team offers custom on-premise and off-site catering for corporate events and family celebrations. Explore the restaurant’s expansive catering menu of signature Italian entrées or work with the staff to create your own custom menu.

“We recently catered a celebration of life event where the family wanted to serve cabbage and noodles,” Debbie shares. “We’d never made that dish before, so we researched it then headed to the kitchen. Some of the family members said it was the best cabbage and noodles they’d ever had.”

Bianca’s Ristorante Italiano is at 4284 Beverly Hills Drive, in Brunswick. The phone number is 330-225-0927. Bianca's is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Private parties are welcome on Sundays and Mondays.