Eating out with friends at a restaurant should be a good dining experience. One Thursday evening, a large group of the Marco Island Senior Softball players gathered at Joey D’s Italian Restaurant for a good time and good dining experience. The team, led by Manager Mike Puskar, was celebrating the last game victory and the end of the regular season.
According to Joey D’s website, their focus is to bring quality Italian cuisine and great service to every guest that walks through their doors. Joey D’s was able to offer both quality food and good service – and they were able to accommodate a party of 26 and felt reasonably safe during COVID.
The friendly staff all wearing masks greeted each guest and we were not rushed to order or to finish the meal. The group was able to have relaxed conversation with friends and the noise level was not deafening at all. Going to an Italian restaurant should be very welcoming and the staff was attentive but not hovering. Sometimes overly friendly staff can feel awkward, yet we did not have to wait 20 minutes for the water glasses to be filled or for the appetizers to be served.
Joey D’s menu is extensive and broken down into several easy sections. They offer nine different pizzas with assorted toppings. There is hand-tossed thin crust in small or large size and Sicilian two-inch thick dough pizza. A deep-dish pizza with thick crust is on the menu but cautions that it will take 45 minutes to cook. Best to order this ahead of time.
Pasta is an Italian restaurant specialty and Joey D’s offers angel hair pasta, baked ziti with marinara, alfredo or vodka sauce. Their homemade lasagna is the house specialty – it is layered with pasta, cheese, and meat. A Spinach Lasagna is on the menu and made with spinach and ricotta cheese layered between pasta, then topped with plum tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. The portions are very generous.
Joey D’s is a favorite go-to-restaurant for many members of the softball group, and they shared that they have the same positive experience at every visit. Good food, friendly staff at a good price. During the NFL season, they have at least 25 TVs in the huge bar area where the staff are all wearing masks.
Here are some of the dining highlights of the evening from some very delighted and happy guests.
Shrimp Scampi – served with jumbo shrimp sautéed with garlic in olive oil and white wine. Garlic is one of the “all-around” herbs used in Italian cooking. It’s minced in sauces, sautéed with vegetables, and roasted with meat.
Zuppa de Pesce – clams, shrimp, calamari, and mussels sautéed in its own juices served with olive oil, garlic, and white wine. Get it mild, medium, or hot.
Baked Entrees – all “parms” are floured, egg washed, breaded, and deep fried with homemade marina sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Eggplant Parmigiana – this is a hearty meal without the meat. It is cheesy, “meaty”, and served in generous portions. A favorite among vegetarians and a favorite for several guests.
Veal Francaise – basically a dish of veal cutlets (you can substitute chicken cutlets if you want) that are sautéed in a sauce made with white wine, butter, and lemon juice. There are numerous variations. Joey D’s is lightly seasoned and egg washed, then sautéed in lemon butter, white wine, and cream sauce.
Veal Parmigiana – is another very simple classic Italian dish that is a signature dish found in many Italian restaurants.
For the lighter fare on the menu – salads with choice of dressings.
Buffalo Chicken Salad – mixed greens, tomatoes, red onions, olives, and crumbled bleu cheese topped with buffalo chicken tenders.
Chopped Salad – fresh lettuce, blend onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, bacon, and goat cheese with grilled chicken.
Joey D’s Restaurant is located at 701 Bald Eagle Drive. Their telephone number is 239-389-5639. Large groups, be sure to make reservation for the large dining room.