Pssghetti’s

My wife and three young whippersnappers recently accompanied me to Pssghetti’s, the new Italian restaurant located in Huntersville. We chose to go early one Saturday evening to see how they marshal proceedings during what should be a busy time.

Although Pssghetti’s promote themselves as a homemade Italian restaurant, there is nothing homely here that you could put your finger on. Quite the opposite in fact; this is a modern, expansive, vibrant restaurant bustling with friendly professionalism. I loved it, and somehow knew, before we had even sat down, that we would be happy.

Clearly visible to one side of the restaurant, open sauté stations house a blur of starched white chef jackets energetically moving against a backdrop of polished stainless steel and copper. A darkened bar sits away from the main eating area and, centrally positioned, a piano and other assorted musical instruments. Live music played as we ate.

The menu is brimful for both parents and kids. I counted ten kiddie entrée’s ranging from fettuccine alfredo to cheese ravioli to spaghetti and meatballs, with an average price of around $6. For the opening volley we parent-types shared calamari, plated over a bed of rocket salad, and served with a spicy garlic sauce. It’s easy to over-cook squid rendering it tough and rubbery; these however, were perfect. For the heavy artillery, I chose lamb chops with a sweet red-pepper jelly accompanied with garlic-herb roasted potatoes, while my wife, who would normally be a tad more adventurous, seemed content with spaghetti and meatballs.

Both choices were excellent. In fact, my New Zealand lamb was as fresh and sweet as could be, while the meatballs possessed a depth of pleasing, juicy flavors. I spoke with executive chef, Jeremy Bilby about his preference for foreign lamb over domestic. He sited reasons of both quantity (larger chops) and of taste. If you’re on the fence about lamb, try the New Zealand product. Unlike the grain-fed American counterpart, these lambs are grass-fed right up until slaughter and impart a very different flavor.

Anyway, I digress. My roasted potatoes were a little under-cooked, but this a mere trifle compared to our main consideration; that of wanting an all-encompassing, family dining experience that would help to ensure the absence of all fiendish behavior from our young striplings.

Pssghetti’s strikes a happy balance; they are not all fine cotton linen, polished silver and glittering cut glass, and equally, they are not the local fast-food slop-house. This is as nice a restaurant as any parent would want to take their kids. If there is the tiniest chance you might relax eating-out with your young offspring, then Pssghetti’s will provide the atmosphere, the food and the service to facilitate. You just need to do your part, and keep the blighters under control. Do go.

Average entrée prices on the evening menu come in at a brisk $16-$17, but they’re worth it. They have separate lunch menus for Monday-Friday and Saturday and Sunday. During the week, you can choose either from the buffet, $7.95, or order from the menu, $3.95-$12.95. The weekend lunch menu ranges $8.95-$13.95.

The Chow Down

Dollar deal: Weekend lunch, $9.00-$14.00
Kid-friendly: Yes
Especially for the little ones: Spaghetti & Meatballs
To avoid a wait, go: Anytime
Noise level: Active, but this helped to entertain
Décor/Atmosphere: Modern/Great
Kiddie fare: All the usual, plus Italian pasta-based alternatives
Anything healthy on the kiddie menu?: Spaghetti & Meatballs
Parent fare: Italian cuisine with a wide choice
Bathroom amenities: Clean
High chair/booster cleanliness: Good
Got milk/juice?: Yes
Address: 9715-A Sam Furr Road, Huntersville
Phone: (704) 895-9448
Web site: www.pssghettis.com
Overall rating: Out of 5: 4 ½