Although I had heard about Vecchia for awhile, it wasn’t until this summer that I finally went to eat there, and let me tell you, this place is working it’s way into my top 10 list for the city.
Their wrap-around front porch with its picnic tables. The glass-bottled cokes. The legit Italian market. The best bread pudding I’ve had in Birmingham. The fact that your pizza cooks in 90 seconds because it’s baked in a brick oven that was handmade in Italy. Oh, and kids eat free on Tuesdays.
Nestled in The Preserve near the entrance to Moss Rock, Vecchia exudes a welcoming atmosphere and is the type of place where you can have a big family dinner with everyone at the same, long picnic table, eating and laughing together. The word “vecchia” actually means “old” in Italian, and the restaurant’s name is a nod to the old recipes and traditions passed down from one generation to the next, specifically the art of pizza making.
Also, if you’re looking for someone to cater, Vecchia offers catering options, including options other than Italian food, and one thing that I thought sounded fun is the pizza party, which would make a great birthday party, corporate event, or team-building idea. With this, each person is given dough, and the chef walks you through the whole pizza making process to the point where you actually put the pizza in the oven yourself! Click here to watch a promo video to learn more.
What to Order When You Go
First of all, make sure you’re hungry when you go, and go with a couple of people that way you can just order several things and share it. For example, they do not offer side salads, and their salad is big enough that 3 of us split it along with an appetizer in addition to our entrees. With this, you’ll want to get their Sicilian Salad, which comes with romaine, radicchio, fennel, cherry tomato, pecorino Romano cheese, and a creamy Italian vinaigrette ($8.95).
For appetizers, you will thank me after you try their Spinach & Artichoke Dip, which is served in a small cast iron skillet with tricolor tortilla chips on the side ($7.99). Probably the best spinach artichoke dip I’ve ever had. Seriously.
I also enjoy their Meatballs, which are served in marinara sauce with fresh basil, and their Bruschetta, which is topped with Roma tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices, and extra virgin olive oil.
While I haven’t tried their Panini or Calzones, I am a huge fan of their pizzas, which are a thin crust and made with authentic Italian ingredients (so don’t go expecting to get buffalo chicken or pineapple on your pizza). My favorite is their Chicken Pesto Pizza, which is topped with their organic house-made pesto, baked chicken, and buffalo mozzarella ($13 for a 10 oz., which easily fed 3 of us along with our appetizer and salad; $18 for a 16 oz.).
I also recommend their Margherita D.O.P. Pizza ($12 for 10 oz./$15 for 16 oz.), Quattro Farmaggio (Four Cheese) Pizza ($14 for 10 oz./$18 for 16 oz.), and the Polpetta Pizza with its San Marzano tomato sauce, pecorino Romano, meatballs, ricotta, and mozzarella ($13 for 10 oz./$17 for 16 oz.).
While I do like their Pasta Alfredo, which you can get with either oven-roasted chicken or with Tamburello family sausage ($8.95 or $9.95), their Lasagna is what you’ll want to get if you’re feeling in the mood for pasta! Instead of doing the layered lasagna that we’re all used to, they take the ingredients (fennel, Bolognese sauce, seasoned ricotta, and Italian marinara) and wrap them in large pasta shells, which they bake in a cast-iron skillet ($8.95).
And don’t forget to save room for dessert because you will want dessert! And at the top of your list needs to be their Bread Pudding, which I cannot say enough good things about. But if you’re not feeling in the mood for Bread Pudding, try one of their cakes (especially their Italian Cream Cake). I’m not even a cake person, but theirs is dense and moist and sweet enough without being overly sweet ($5.95 per slice).
Like I mentioned earlier, go hungry and go with friends because you’ll want to eat it all – appetizer, salad, pizza or pasta, and dessert. I’ve eaten like a horse and still taken home leftovers every time I’ve visited, and I can also tell you firsthand that their pizza also makes good leftovers, especially when warmed up in a toaster oven.
610 Preserve Pkwy, Suit 100
- Sunday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.