The best Italian restaurants I’ve had the pleasure of eating have all been on the East coast. It was there that I really decided that to be a great Italian restaurant, you’ve got to make a really great meatball…and bonus points if it’s big enough to have its own plate!
Gloria’s Little Italy has been in Provo for quite a few years and at their current location on the corner of University Avenue and Center Street for about 5 years. There really is a woman named Gloria behind the restaurant, who came from Italy with her husband Mauro. We’ve been a few times. We’ve never been blown away, but we’ve never had a bad experience, either. Word on the street is the prices went up and the quality of service went down when they changed locations, but we never ate at their other location, so I can’t say from experience.
We have always been seated fairly quickly, but have had to wait extra long for our server’s attention sometimes, so don’t be in a rush when you go to Gloria’s. Take your time, and if you’re lucky, you may even be serenaded by accordionist Keith Lewis on Fridays or Saturdays. I love that special touch that really adds to the atmosphere.
Complimentary Garlic Bread – Nothing special here, but they gave us a pretty healthy serving for only two people!
Tomato Basil Soup – Delicious and slightly sweet, this tomato soup was super smooth. I would have preferred some little pieces of basil at least as a garnish, but the flavor was spot on…and the serving was huge. You get a choice of soup or salad with your entree…go with the soup!
Spaghetti with Ragu Sauce and Meatballs ($14.50 plus $3.50 for meatballs) – Classic, right? The sauce was good and the meatballs had a good flavor, but were a little dry. The meatballs are extra, but I think they should be standard with this dish.
Gnocchi with Rosata Sauce ($17.50) – One of Gloria’s signature dishes and made by hand daily. The gnocchi were very tender, and the rosata sauce (a smooth and creamy tomato sauce) was wonderful. After several bites, though, I got a bit bored. I wanted another texture or flavor in there…maybe a vegetable or chicken or even an herb sprinkled on top with the cheese…something.
You really shouldn’t leave Gloria’s without at least a gander over at the amazing selection of desserts. I don’t think I’ll ever leave without at least getting something to go. They’ve got a great assortment of gelatos (above) and tantalizing cakes, cannolis, and other desserts (below). Seriously…after seeing these pictures you get it, right?
Pistachio Gelato – One of Mr. Diner’s favorites. It was just as gelato should be…sweet, creamy, and nice pistachio flavor.
Tartufo ($5.50) – If you know me, you know I have to branch out and try something different at this fit the bill! This was like a giant cream-filled and sauce-topped cake ball. It’s served warm and turns into a delicious melty mess similar to a lava cake. It’s ginormous and could easily serve two. Yum!
Gloria’s food is generally good, but doesn’t knock my socks off. The portions are large, but I definitely recommend the addition of a meat or vegetable to pasta dishes. I think at the prices they charge, they should be included. Try the Tomato Basil Soup and make sure you get dessert!
Gloria’s Little Italy
1 E Center St #100
Provo, UT 84606
Entrée Price: $$
Average Fork Rating: 3.8
Mr. Diner: 4
Mrs. Diner: 3.5