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Italy, Around the Corner

Arnie's restaurant in Plattsburgh, N.Y. offers quality Italian food and a warm, welcoming atmosphere


Story and photos by Elizabeth Davidson

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CaArnie's is located on Margaret Street in downtown Plattsburgh.ption

When you’re looking for a warm, friendly place to escape from the snow, with the pleasant scent of garlic filling the air, look no further than Plattsburgh’s own Arnie’s Restaurant. With large portions, reasonable prices, and a welcoming atmosphere, Arnie’s delivers a relaxing and enjoyable dining experience.

Located downtown on Margaret Street, Arnie’s has all the makings of a classic Irish-American sports bar: light wood paneling, green marbled table tops, big screen TVs, framed photos, and sports memorabilia on the walls. However, their menu is almost exclusively Italian.

They have tall bar tables for small parties as well as family dining tables, with a large L-shaped bar in a corner. The dartboard and video game console against one wall give the place a family-friendly feel, while the collected beer signs and clocks point to the restaurant’s nighttime college crowd.

Their service is excellent—I received my soup within 3 minutes and my meal within 20—and the staff is friendly and conversational.

Their menu includes the typical variety of Italian food—pasta, pizza, salad, seafood, and sandwiches—but they also have more decadent meals like sirloin steak and pork chops. Regardless of choice, a meal will never cost more than $18, and the lunch specials are a great deal at just $5.95.

My lunch of cheese ravioli with homemade meat sauce (about $8) was delicious and fresh. The ravioli was not homemade, but was of high quality, and the sauce was heavenly.  I was, however, a little confused when I was presented with two slices of raw, slightly stale white bread as a side, with some whipped butter packets. It wasn’t awful or anything, but it just seemed weird to give someone cold bread with a hot meal.  I chose to avoid the bread because what I had on my plate was more than enough. Overall, it was a good meal that left me full and satisfied, with some leftovers for later.

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CaArnie's is known for their fresh Italian food, like the ravioli with meat sauce pictured above.ption
Arnie’s is cozy, but it could be more comfortable if some booth tables were added. The wooden chairs were fine for eating a meal, but I wouldn’t want to spend my night in one of those if I were just there for the bar or watching a football game.

The restaurant also has a strange clash of themes. The green color scheme and typical pub style make it seem more appropriate for Irish food than Italian. The menus, red and white with an Italian man on the cover, are the only things that allude to the restaurant’s theme.  Even more peculiar is the restaurant’s dishware. The dishes are thick, modest recreations of traditional Scandinavian redwork patterns. 

So basically, it’s an Irish-American bar with Italian food and Scandinavian dishes. The continuity gap sort of makes the place charming, though.

Overall, Arnie’s is great. It’s friendly, clean, and hosts delicious food at good prices.

APN gives Arnie’s 4 out of 5 stars.

 

Which do you prefer: Authentic Italian or American-Italian food?

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