‘Watts for Dinner’: You’ll squeal for the pork prime rib

Will Watts

Our next dining destination is one of my favorites, Verdi’s American Bistro. Cozy, quality and consistency keeps me coming back.

This visit I ordered the chicken penne ($28). It’s sautéed chicken breast, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, spinach, garlic butter sauce and parmesan cheese. It’s best summed up as simple and delicious.

All entrees include a house salad which are prepared with the restaurant’s garlic roasted vinaigrette dressing. If you so choose, you may upgrade your salad to either a Caesar or spinach salad or substitute it for a bowl of clam chowder for a small up charge. I added gorgonzola cheese to my house salad, as did my dining companion. Yummy! 

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For his entree, he selected the pork prime rib ($32). The dish features sautéed apples, dried cherries, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans and a sweet applejack brandy sauce. This dish earned high marks. He highly recommends it. Juicy all the way through and the ingredients are original and a perfect compliment to the protein.

This was our first “official” visit since February 2021. That was a takeout experience, due to the pandemic. And it was one of the best takeout orders we’ve received; and only fell short when comparing it to the dine-in experience at Verdi’s.

A standout from that visit was the appetizer, the “Wiki Wiki Shrimp” ($11). It’s crispy tempura shrimp, toasted and served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce and topped with diced tomatoes. When I first opened the container, I thought I gotten cheese curds instead. And I wouldn’t have been disappointed. I love a good tempura crust, but the dipping sauce was the star of this show. I even dipped the tomato pieces in it.

We also partook of the warm baked brie ($12) featuring roasted shallots, roasted garlic, toasted walnuts and mixed greens with a balsamic drizzle. OMG!.

My dining companion had the jumbo shrimp and diver scallops ($33) featuring a sautéed, lobster tomato gravy, fresh fettuccine and parmesan cheese. I must admit, I was jealous of both the look and smell of this dish. Heavenly.

This dish had three jumbo shrimp and two scallops and lots of pasta. That might not sound like a lot of protein, but he couldn’t finish it. That also might have something to do with the salad he added, which also made be jealous. It was a spinach salad ($4.75 with an entrée, $11 otherwise), but no ordinary one. It features sliced Granny Smith apples, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese, tomatoes, red onions, olive oil and a sweet balsamic reduction. It was practically a meal all by itself.

During an early 2020 visit — before the pandemic became serious — we started with two appetizers, the mushroom crostini ($10, garlic toasted bread, sautéed mushrooms with a gorgonzola cream sauce) and the warm baked brie ($11, featuring arugula, roasted shallots and garlics, toasted walnuts and a balsamic drizzle).

During that visit we also sampled the “Triple Tail Med Style” ($32). It also comes with a house salad but for a slight upcharge you can select a soup or larger salad. He selected the roasted beets salad, featuring red and golden beets, mandarin oranges, red onions, gorgonzola cheese and toasted almonds in a white mandarin vinaigrette.

The golden beets really added to the visual appeal of this dish. It almost earns a perfect score with just a minor-points deducted for less than flavorful mandarin oranges.

The triple tail featured tomatoes, green and black olives, feta cheese and was served over sautéed spinach and jasmine rice.

With Verdi’s, the quality is consistent, the prices are reasonable, and the staff is friendly and accommodating.

Consistency is the key, and Verdi’s American Bistro proves itself time and again. Happy eating! 

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Prices indicate time of visit and may vary. This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

If you go

Verdi's American Bistro

  • 241 North Collier Blvd., Marco Island
  • 239-394-5533