“This is the very definition of comfort food.”
That was what my isolation companion said as we tucked into our takeout from Stefano’s Trattoria, the popular Winter Springs Italian restaurant. And it was true. Pasta, sauce, cheese – all a warm culinary hug.
The team at Stefano’s jumped right into offering takeout when restaurants were ordered closed, and they’re doing a very good job.
Stefano’s Trattoria’s entire menu is available for takeout, which is a lot. Takeout is available via phone or through online ordering on the restaurant’s website. Delivery is available: Before 4 p.m. food is delivered by staff members; after 4, Doordash and Postmates pick up the food and bring it to you.
I called in my order and drove to Winter Springs to pick it up.
As I waited at the curb – I got there a few minutes early – I noticed some safeguards that Stefano’s had put into place, including signs directing the third-party drivers for pickup.
Even more impressive were the markers on the sidewalk at six-foot intervals indicating where people waiting in line should stand for proper distancing. Heck, not even Publix has it together enough to do that.
There was no line while I waited, but some people did emerge from inside with takeout orders while I waited. And in a few minutes, a young woman came out with mine. I had already given my credit card details on the phone and had authorized a gratuity. So when she approached the car, I popped the trunk and she put the order there. She thanked me and I was on my way back downtown.
The food was still hot when I got home. Everything was securely packaged, aluminum plates and other containers stapled inside white paper bags to minimize jostling. My soup (entrees come with a choice of soup or salad) was packaged in a plastic tub that was then tied up in a plastic bag and stapled in a paper bag. Zero spillage. The Stromboli I ordered as an appetizer was in a conventional pizza box accompanied by a couple of containers of marinara.
The Stromboli was delicious, a perfect pizza dough folded with ham, sausage and gooey mozzarella inside.
For my entree I ordered the Tortellini di Stefano, which had the belly button shaped pasta tossed in a creamy meat sauce that had lots of chewy bits of prosciutto. It was baked and topped with melted provolone cheese.
My companion had the Lasagna, pasta sheets layered with cheese and a meat sauce that had a slightly sweet note – a touch of nutmeg, perhaps? It was delicious.
As I said, the entrees come with a choice of soup or salad and I chose them both. The house salad had crispy lettuce with cucumber and tomato. And by the way, the salad was put in its own bag away from the hot food to keep it from wilting.
The soup was a Pasta e Fagioli, a more tomatoey version but still with plenty of beany goodness. Oh, and two rolls were also included. A tremendous amount of food, plenty left for another meal – at Stefano's ridiculously affordable prices – and all of is wonderfully comforting.
And don’t we all need a healthy portion of comfort right now?
Stefano’s Trattoria is at 1425 Tuskawilla Road, Winter Springs. Takeout is available for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-659-0101.