Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen more restaurant activity in the Bull City as we slowly pull out of the pandemic. And was once old is new again! Take, for example, Lucky’s Delicatessen on W. Chapel Hill Street. A victim of the pandemic, the deli closed but the space ended up transitioning to Alimentari at Mothers and Sons. Which is not a bad thing at all, here’s why!
If you like Italian food, you’ll really enjoy Alimentari at Mothers and Sons. While “alimentari” in Italian means food or groceries, this location means a LOT more. While you will find a refrigerated case with delicious Italian meats and prepared items, the dining room and bar offer up coffee, sandwiches, and salads, in their casual but stylish space. The interior has been refreshed in European style: painted metal ceiling, classic Italian posters on the walls, and some lovely woodwork above the front counter and kitchen prep area. It all feels open and inviting, a welcoming spot for classic Italian-American eats.
Service is available from 11am to 3pm, Tuesday to Friday and 9am to 3pm on Saturday. The breads are baked in-house and fresh! Choose from a short list of sandwiches covering all the classics (meatball, chicken parm, Italian, Caprese) and salads for your meal. Sandwiches are served bare so if you want a side, you’ll have to order it a la carte. Prices are quite reasonable with sandwiches and salads in the $8 to $12 range.
Over the course of two visits (dine-in at the restaurant and take-out), I’ve had a good chance to try quite a bit off the Alimentari menu and it’s all quite good. Classic Italian-American sandwiches like the chicken and meatball parm, served up on a chewy focaccia roll and slathered with gravy (red sauce) and melted cheese. I preferred the meatball out of these two sandwich options. My favorite option is probably Alimentari’s roast pork sandwich served with thinly sliced meat, rapini, melty mozzarella, and aioli. It’s a succulent bite with plenty of savory meat, soft richness, and greens in every bite. The pepperoni stromboli I tried was also solid but not as memorable as I would have hoped for.
Service at Alimentari is quite friendly and good, they can get you in and out pretty quickly and don’t miss much. I sort of expected this level of service given what I’ve experienced at Mothers and Sons but it’s a nice touch at this price point. I’ve yet to purchase anything out of the refrigerated case but it all looks quite fresh and tasty! Overall I’m pretty satisfied and happy with what Alimentari is serving up from sandwiches to service and ambiance. And while part of me will miss Lucky’s Delicatessen a bit, Alimentari is doing a lot of things right at lower price points.