First Place – Villa Napoli in Turlock
This restaurant is in a little house on Geer, almost to Canal, and we drove past it many times before we ever ate there. As you can tell from the name, it is Italian, and is owned by an older Italian couple who are just wonderful. The husband is the chef, and the wife, who is about four feet tall, is the maître d’ and she really sets the tone for the whole place. They have lots of excellent pastas and this summer Al and I have been eating the same thing every time we go in, the gnocchi with sausage and zucchini. I love gnocchi, and this is the best that I have ever eaten, and that is saying a lot. We are eating there a lot this summer because the owners are wanting to sell the restaurant and move back to Italy and retire. We are going to miss them, their food, and especially the bread a whole lot.
Ah, the bread – there is no bread better than this any place in the world. I love these rolls so much, I always pig out and eat an entire one every time we go there; and they are so nice, they give us two more to take home. It is always fresh and hot out of the oven, they bake it fresh for each customer. I don’t know how they manage to do this, and I have never had bread like this anyplace else. It’s light and fluffy on the inside, and it tastes like homemade. No other bread anywhere even comes close to being this good.