My friend has been raving about Pompilio's in Newport for a couple months now. She said she loved the small local feel of the restaurant and really enjoyed her meals that she has had here. I do love Italian, so when my husband was recently craving Italian, I suggested we give it a try.
Pompilio's is located in the small neighborhood of Newport, KY and there is a location in Independence too. It is well-known for having a scene from Rain Man filmed here. There was plenty of parking options located on the neighboring streets. I loved the location, making it definitely feel like a neighborhood gem.
Upon walking in, I was a little taken aback. The bar area was packed with people...and smoke. I forgot that Kentucky still allows smoking in restaurants. I am not one who typically is bothered by smoke actually, but this was pretty intense. We were led to the hostess stand in another room who asked if we wanted smoking or non-smoking. We chose the latter. We were immediately seated to a cozy booth in the back of the restaurant.
As we got comfortable I was able to take a minute to soak in the ambiance and patrons of Pompilio's. I liked how the interior had a feeling of being in a family restaurant. There was a variety of patrons, including families, children, and couples. It wasn't too loud and had some great eccentric pieces adorning the walls.
Ross and I took some time looking over the menu after ordering our drinks. The menu is huge. It offers specialty dishes, pastas, chicken, salads, appetizers, and more. It really is pretty extensive. I asked our matter-of-fact waitress what she recommended, and she suggested the chicken tortellini which was one of the dishes I was debating, so I went for it. This was served with a side salad. Ross decided to order the Cannelloni. He has never ordered this before, so I was surprised, but it sounded good! He wanted a Caesar salad with his meal.
As we waited, a server brought us some bread to snack on. This was pretty boring. It really just was white bread. It seemed to me like bread that I could get from a bag at the store.
Next, came our salads. These salads were too a bit disappointing. It was a portion of iceberg lettuce topped with two cucumbers and two tomatoes. I had the Italian dressing, which was just okay. Ross didn't really care for his salad either. It was over-dressed making it taste a bit soggy. Not terrible, but not that great either.
At this point, we were excited for our entrees to come. We finished our drinks and chatted while we waited....and waited...and noticed that the table who was sat 10-15 minutes after us received their entrees. We weren't terribly bothered by this, but we did notice it. Our waitress did stop by a bit later and apologized for the food taking longer than normal, which was nice to acknowledge. Finally, our food arrived.
The chicken tortellini is sauteed with garlic, basil, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes and served in a Parmesan cream sauce. This overall was just okay. I thought there was way too much cream sauce making it a little too rich for me. Other than that, I really liked the sun-dried tomatoes and the chicken was pretty good too. This was a big portion and had about half to take home. I think this was a decent dish, but just too much cream/cheese, in my opinion.
Ross' dish was not good. I really can't even try to make it sound good. I thought it was terrible. The cannelloni tasted rubbery to me. It was stuffed with beef and Italian sausage, which really had no flavor. Ross chose Alfredo sauce on top of it, and I didn't think that had any flavor either. It really needed some salt and pepper at least. This was a very bland dish. I also thought for Italian food it was a small portion. Ross didn't mind though because he didn't like this either.
I was so disappointed in Pompilio's! I really wanted to like this place. I thought the interior and exterior is really unique and a lot of people seem to enjoy it. It was busy, but not on a wait, and prices are pretty fair. My friend who recommended it said that she has only had the red sauce and really likes that, so if I ever do go back, I guess I will have to try that. The food and service was just mediocre in my opinion. I don't need a server who is overly friendly or anything like that, but ours was really just down-to-business. Let me know what you think! I'd love to hear other thoughts on this place.
Overall Experience: 2.5