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GOOD EATS: Melini Cucina brings new Italian to downtown

Mar. 12, 2009 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Melini Cucina is a new name on the Huntington restaurant scene, but a familiar one in the Tri-State.

The new location at 350 10th St., (the former home of Arthur's) is the sixth restaurant in a chain owned by Venus Melini. Other locations are in Morehead, Ky., Portsmouth, Ohio, Grayson, Ky., Ironton and Mt. Sterling, Ky. With a reputation for fully authentic Italian cuisine at a reasonable price, Melini is hoping to continue his success in the Mountain State.

"We serve an assortment of traditional Italian pastas and pizza," said Natisha Sayles, manager of the Huntington location. "We also serve calzones and 'napolitanos' which are submarine sandwiches."

Pizzas range in price from $7.99 for a 14-inch cheese pizza to $15.99 for a specialty pie. Specialties include the Feta cheese pizza topped with pepperoni, ham, onions, feta cheese, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Pizza is also sold by the slice in the $2.59 and $3.99 range.

"We also have a variety of pork, fish, steak, seafood and veal."

"One of our more popular items is the mediterraeo which has shrimp, mussels clams, calamari and little neck clams in a red sauce," Sayles said. "Another specialty is the carbonara which is like an alfredo sauce made with onion, bacon and herbs."

Entrees range in price from $6.99 for an order of baked spaghetti to $14.99 for a rack of lamb. Pasta dishes include ravioli, stuffed shells, manicotti and baked ziti.

Customers looking for lunch deals can choose between a small assortment of salads and lunch-sized pastas in the $5.99 to $6.99 range.

Vegetarian fare includes baked spinach lasagna and eggplant parmesan.

Another vegetarian pasta dish is puttanesca which has capers, olives, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes. There are also an assortment of desserts including New York cheesecake as well as traditional Italian sweets: spumoni, tiramisu and cannoli. One house dessert is the caramel pecan passion, which features caramel ice cream, a caramel mouse, caramel sauce and topped with glazed pecans.

Melini Cucina is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Sunday hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Lunch hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Customers wishng to place a take-out order or looking for more information can call 304-399-3000. For a menu and additional locations, visit www.melinicucina.net/MENUS. Cash, debit and all major credit cards are accepted.



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