January 28, 2010


By Eric Shangraw

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM CDT

A new Italian restaurant is drawing a crowd in North Peoria.

Eric Shangraw has a guest eater along to see what all the fuss is about at PVII in this week's You Gotta Eat.

PVII is the second coming of Ponte Vecchio, the Italian restaurant in Sheridan Village that died last summer. Chef Josh Utech and his wife Amy worked at Ponte Vecchio. After the owner shut it down, they found their own investors and opened their own business with new bold colors but many of the same recipes from before.

" We're glad that they reopened out here. And it's a great place to come for lunch and it is a reasonable lunch," said customer Rich McKone.

The draw for PVII begins and ends in the kitchen. Josh makes each order from start to finish. He calls it a simple secret for success.

"Making everything from scratch. And really taking the time to do it right. As opposed to just tearing open a bag. I think it really makes a difference. A lot of people appreciate taking the time with a dish, it really seems to show through," said Utech.

"We've a lot of people in here from Italy and they are extremely ecstatic about the food. They love it. It is all made fresh. All made to order," said Amy Wand.

Guest eater Diana Hall joined us for lunch. The successful businesswoman ordered the Chicken and Pear salad. It's grilled chicken breast over mixed greens, sliced pears, onion, shaved Parmesan with a pear vinaigrette dressing. She was impressed with Pv2's flexibility when it came to making a custom order.

"It was great. And even as I was talking to her, she said she could modify the dishes or do whatever because they make things from scratch," said Hall.

I had Rollatini. Chicken breast rolled with mozzarella and prosciutto then flash-fried and baked in stout mushroom cream sauce. Sitting in a bed of noodles, it was sumptuous. Not to rich or overly heavy.

Photographer Warren Brinegar had Spaghetti Bolognese: A traditional pasta served under a sauce that's flavored with red wine. He said it was fine.

For dessert, Warren had Tiramisu. I had Tre Leches, which translates to three-milk cake. It's yellow cake soaked in three different milks blended with a brandy liqueur, whipped cream frosting, and drizzled with raspberry sauce. They are both elegant desserts and are made by Chef Josh's mom!

The bill for our trio: 50-dollars plus tip. Like homemade lasagna, PVII seems better the second time around.

8305 North Allen Road
Mon-Fri 11am-2pm
Saturday 5pm-10pm

Reservations are recommended.

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