Once a restaurant called Esposito's, Espo's on Congress Street, in Portland, Maine, has continued the quality and service of it's predecessor. ( I attempted to verify stories I've heard, but Espo's does not have a website, so I need to caution that the next few sentences are rumors that I have been unable to prove or disprove.) As I understand it, the owner of Esposito's, which had long been an excellent Italian Restaurant passed away, and his children re-opened under the name Espo's Trattoria.
Having a hankering for some Italian eats, Hubby and I visited Espo's. We were treated to a basket of focaccia bread with a dish of olive oil, parmesean, and rosemary sprigs for dipping, while we checked out the menu and specials. The bread was practically oven-fresh and delicious by itself, but even more so when dipped in the olive oil mixture!
I was surprised to see Cream of Broccoli soup on them menu, but knowing that all of their food is homemade, I decided to have a cup as an appetizer, as it's one of my favorites. The cup turned out to be a bowl of piping hot, cheesy goodness. The soup was thick with cheese and broccoli, and was literally steaming when the waitress placed it on the table in front of me. I dislike lukewarm foods, especially soup, so this was steamy, cheese-laden delight. It was very easily the best Cream of Broccoli soup I've ever had in a restaurant.
The soup was followed by a salad with lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and lots of purple onion slices and a tangy homemade Italian dressing. All the vegetables were fresh and crisp.
For my entree, I selected the meat lasagna, which was layers of cheese, lasagna noodles, marinara sauce, ground beef, sausage, and pepperoni--and did I say cheese? Mozzarella, parmesean and ricotta, all melted, goey and tasty in a lasagna portion that was nearly 6 inches by 6 inches in size! After all the soup, salad, and focaccia bread, I was only able to eat about a third of it, but the waitress boxed the remainder for a yummy lunch another day.
Hubby went for his favorite, spaghetti and meatballs. (I love spaghetti, too, but am unable to eat it in a restaurant without wearing half of it by the end of the meal!) The portion was huge, with a generous amount of marinara sauce topped by two meatballs the size of baseballs. The meatballs were scrumptious, and were close to half a pound each, I would be willing to wager. Hubby even had to have part of his dinner boxed to take home! (And that's not a common occurance!)
It was a win/win evening; a wonderful meal out, with a second wonderful meal for later with no cooking needed!