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Chateau offers local Italian delicacies

By Mara Sassoon
On March 22, 2011

  • The Chateau's original Waltham location on opened in 1933, but now the restaurant also has branches in Norwood, Stoughton and Andover, Mass. Emily Salloway

Let's face it. The mass quantity of overcooked pasta and vat of watery tomato sauce that are dinnertime staples at Sherman Dining Hall just do not satisfy a craving for delicious Italian food. What does satisfy this craving, however, is the Chateau's extensive selection of traditional Italian dishes, ranging from chicken parmigiana, lasagna and gnocchi to pizzas and calzones. Located not too far from popular establishments on Moody Street (it's just a 15-minute walk from Lizzy's Ice Cream), the Chateau's original Waltham location opened in 1933. The restaurant's building is very spacious, with multiple rooms on multiple floors. I went to the Chateau with four friends for a relatively early dinner. We arrived around 5:30 p.m., only to find that there was already a wait to be seated. The place was packed with families dining in a cheerful and homey atmosphere. Thankfully, we did not have to wait long to be seated-only about 5 minutes. However, now that I have seen how busy the restaurant gets, I think I will make a reservation the next time I go.

Right after we were seated, the waitress came over and brought a big basket of crusty bread to the table. Although the bread was good, I advise that you do not fill up on it and instead save room for your main dish since the portions at the Chateau-like the building the restaurant occupies-are very large.

I ordered the eggplant parmigiana, a dish that I normally order when I go to an Italian restaurant. I wanted to see how this eggplant parmigiana compared to others I have tried in the past, and I was not at all disappointed when it was served.The eggplant cutlets were lightly coated in a nicely seasoned breading. I have had eggplant parmigiana in the past with breading that was too thick and greasy and that overpowered the actual eggplant, but the eggplant-to-breading ratio at the Chateau was just right. It was generously topped with melted mozzarella and a wonderful tomato sauce. The sauce, which had a slight sweetness to it, brought out other flavors of the dish.

As for my friends, one ordered the chicken roma-chicken cooked in a wine and butter sauce with tomatoes and onions that was topped with breadcrumbs and cheese. She praised the dish so loudly that she caused a diner at the next table to ask what she was eating and proceeded to order the same dish.

Another friend ordered fettuccine alfredo and said that it was among the best that she has had.

My other friends ordered "Italian trio" dishes, which are made up of smaller portions of three popular dishes on the menu. One trio consisted of chicken parmigiana, fettuccine alfredo and lasagna. The other replaced the chicken parmigiana with eggplant parmigiana. Nobody at the table had a negative word to say about the food, and we all agreed that we would like to come back to the Chateau for another great meal.

I recently met someone who graduated from Bentley University 30 years ago, who told me that one of her favorite restaurants when she was in college was the Chateau and recommended that I try it. I informed her that I had already been there and intend to go back.

The next time this craving for great Italian food comes to me, I will be sure to make my way to the Chateau.

Located on 195 School St., Waltham. Contact: (781) 894-3339

www.chateaurestaurant.com


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