Cook and owner Peter Brown of L’Italia Restaurant in Wellsville, NY always knew he wanted to return to the town he grew up in but it took a big fire to ignite his decision.
Not that there is anything wrong with living, working and raising a family in New Orleans but it’s no Wellsville, NY, a 20th century town eight miles from the Pennsylvania border reminiscent of Frank Capra’s Bedford Falls.
A fire that destroyed his children’s elementary school sent them packing in 2003. Brown returned to Wellsville and started a cozy Italian eatery on Main Street with dishes like the Louisiana Andouille sausage, shrimp, chicken, onions and roasted peppers in a rich cream sauce over penne pasta a tribute to his Cajun days. I started with the mussels in white wine broth and moved onto a Brown heritage favorite – pizza. I almost went with the Florentine but decided on the Venetian White with artichoke, tomato, onion, mushroom, mozzarella and feta cheese was enough for lunch and dinner.
Following the cuisine the atmosphere of the building is top notch. High tin ceilings, knotty wood plank floors, three levels to dine facing the downtown and a bar nook surrounded by antique road signs. The vintage gold-plated floor-to-ceiling mirror hanging in the entry room will really catch your eye.