So what happens when there's a new kid in town? Commela's is now across the street from another Arlington Italian restaurant, , but there is room enough for both these complimentary restaurants.
Comella's feels like the eat in kitchen or dining room at a good friend's house with nice wooden floors and a lot of light coming in from the windows. It's like home if you have an Italian parent in the kitchen asking you what you feel like for dinner or lunch today. The atmosphere is less restaurant and more neighborhood kitchen. With friends and family coming and going and grabbing bites to eat. The menu is extensive and single servings range from $7 - $10.
When you look around Comella's "mess" isn't a word that comes to mind. The space is spic and span with a good number of tables, a peek into the kitchen and a large menu/takeout area. It is when you look at the menu that you find "mess." Comella's is know for their menu item called a mess. The recipe is top secret, but basically it starts with pasta and sauce and gets built up from there. The most layered "mess" on the menu is Uncle Butch's Bomb, which has shells, lasagna, eggplant, chicken, veal, shrimp, meatballs, sausage and veggies. It is everything but the kitchen sink.
Across the street at Ristorante Olivio, the menu is full of familiar Italian dishes. The dining room is a place to settle in and enjoy a nice meal. From a Caprese with buffalo milk mozzarella to Pappardelle Bolognese the menu here is classic. There is a little twist here too though, because next to the dinner and dessert menu is a not so little Martini list. There's the Ketel One Ultimate Martini and over half a dozen, fruit, chocolate, sweet and sour variations.
This isn't a tale of two cities but rather two Italian restaurants in one city and the story ends happily ever after.