Set next to the railroad tracks that run the length of Blue Ash Road in the leafy, quiet neighborhood of Deer Park, at its heart Barresi's Italian Restaurant is essentially the same family style Italian-American restaurant that Sal and Odessa Baresi opened in 1963. In 2005, former employee Sarah Wagner Barnes bought the place. She's changed little on the menu, striving instead to uphold her inheritance: chewy strips of fried calamari and paper thin slices of beef carpaccio; Caprese and Caesar salads; Osso Bucco Milanese with risotto and a chunky tomato sauce; seven versions of veal scallopine. And of course the basket of zeppoles, warm pillows of fried, salted dough. In addition to the veal variations, more than a dozen seafood, chicken, and steak dishes are created by interchanging familiar preparations: Florentine (spinach, cream cheese sauce, and pecans); Sicilian (capers, garlic, olive oil, and lemon); Marsala; and lobster cream sauce among them. Anyone who likes a big bowl of pasta will find both familiar comfort and flavor in the linguine with clam sauce or the penne primavera with the holy trinity of garlic, olive oil, and butter. But despite reduced portion pricing (a full portion of linguine with scampi is $30; the “three-quarter size” is $25) Barresi's is more expensive than Primavista, and nearly as expensive as Boca or Nicola's.
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