Saturday, March 12, 2011

Classico Italian Restaurant - First Look

Laurie and I had been told about an Italian restaurant opening in Loudon Tennessee at a small strip center in Tellico Village. It replaced a previous restaurant...that had been too pitiful to write about. In any case, we were really excited when we were told that the new restaurant might be related to Willie's, our favorite Italian restaurant in the greater Knoxville metropolitan area!

However, we quickly discovered that Classico Italian Pizza & Pasta was not a spin off of Willie's. Instead, it's related to Danny's Pizza & Pasta, a restaurant that's located less than a mile down the road from Willie's. So, with the wished for connection proved to be non-existent, it all comes down to the food, service and atmosphere at Classico Italian!

Originally, we'd vowed to give this new restaurant 2 or 3 more weeks to shake out the kinks and get it's act together. But, it was lunch time, we were out driving around and Laurie felt like pizza...

I decided to order the Sausage Parmesan Sandwich & French Fries. The sandwich was certainly big enough and the order of fries was huge... I would have preferred a link of Italian Sausage instead of the slices that were used and I like it a bit spicier...but it was a decent sandwich, especially for $6.75.

Laurie ordered a small 12" pizza with pepperoni, Italian sausage and black olives. She felt that it was a good, if not great, pizza. I had a bite of it but it wasn't enough for me to offer my opinion. The pizza was large enough that Laurie was able to take half of it home...

The menu at Classico Italian Pizza & Pasta is fairly extensive...offering much more than our rather limited luncheon experience. Entrees include Veal Marsala, Shrimp Scampi, Fettuccine Carbonara and Salmon Piccata. Pasta specialties range from Baked Zitti to Ravioli, Spaghetti, Lasagna through Eggplant Parmesan. Gourmet Pizzas and Calzones round out the menu.

Of even more potential importance is the fact that Classico Italian serves basic American breakfasts from 8 am to 11 am daily! This could be a big plus for the Loudon/Tellico Village area... Laurie and I will have to try this new restaurant's dinner menu as well as the breakfast menu before we can fairly evaluate this addition to the area's dining choices.

Service was very nice...polite and pleasant servers. One negative is that nothing much has changed from the old restaurant as relates to decor. It's gray on gray...with few decorations and an ugly carpet. Perhaps the food will succeed enough for the new owners to spend some money to really brighten up the place!

Classico Italian Pizza & Pasta is located just off of Loudon County Road 444 at Tellico Village at 318 Lakeside Plaza in Loudon Tennessee. Phone: 865-458-9316.


  1. Sounds like it may have possibilities

  2. AND they will have live music sometimes. Early Bird Special (acoustic folk/oldies/bluegrassy stuff) will be there on Sat. 3/26, and Kathy Huber (doing a Patsy Cline show, AND a "Country Gold" show) on Sat. 4/16.

  3. Great food, good menu, adequate service, friendly staff. Much needed improvement to the atmosphere. It's an Italian restaurant. Dim the lights, get rid of the paper placemats, buy some candles and white tableclothes, make it a bit romantic. It has a chance with some not so expensive improvements. I hope it makes it.

  4. I agree with Russell's wish that Classico Italian makes it... It would be great for the area! I also agree about the atmosphere. I don't agree with his comments on the food. Our latest visit and blog rates the food as good but a bit overpriced for what you get. It sure isn't great Italian food. Just our opinion... Big Daddy Dave

  5. hahaha you people make me laugh. Let me key you in on a couple little known facts. First off your so called "favorite" restaurant Willies was only made possible because the owners of Classico and Danny's taught him how to make pizza and also sold him his first restaurant in the East Tennessee area. The guy still uses half ass ingredients which is probably just right for people of your taste. What do you know about Italian food anyway you live in Tennessee!! you all make me laugh..and if you do not believe this ask Will yourself, im sure he'll lie to you he's good at that.

  6. don'tworryaboutit22... FYI, we're from Chicago and the Hill in St. Louis and believe me, we know Italian Food! Obviously, if Willie learned from the owners of Classico & Danny's, he has now surpassed his mentors. But, to be fair, we will try Classico again in the near future. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave