The Intelligencer August 4, 2007
Ariana's Thanks the readers of the Intelligencer for voting us
"One Of The Best" Italian Restaurants of Bucks-Mont area.
October 24, 2006
We had the Eggplant Rolletini appetizer. It was to "DIE FOR"! The Veal was excellent as well as the service. This was the first time we have eaten at "Ariana's" and we can't wait to get back again. The variety in the menu is so diverse. The chef is brilliant! Take my advice, Have a great dinner here!
February 28, 2006
We dine here at least once a month and have never gotten a bad meal. My favorite is the Pescatore, a HUGE mound of shellfish, squid, octopus and shrimp over linguine in a tasty red sauce. It cannot be eaten in one sitting. It's BYOB so you can have wine with your meal without getting killed by the glass. For a while they had live music but I haven't seen him in months? Service is good unless they are really busy. We had St. Valentine's dinner there and it took a good 15 minutes after seating to get a waiter to take our order. Here's a great tip. Go to myclipper.com and download their coupon. It's worth $12.95 off your meal (except. Fri. & Sat)! Ciao!
September 11, 2004
I have only been to this restaurant once and I ordered penne Arrabiata, It was very, very, very good. The penne was al dente as al dente is supposed to be: just firm enough but not too firm. Almost always restaurants overcook their pasta--maybe because their clientele would not want it the way Italians prefer it. The tomato sauce was perfect: spicy but not too spicy, with a rich tomato taste that I found very gratifying. I'm a guy who has been around and have eaten this dish in many restaurants in New York and San Francisco and some places in between. I've never had a better penne Arrabiata. I had Peligrino with this dish and as always it acts as a stomachic.
Bruce S. February 4, 2001
Ariana's is one of those Italian restaurants that looks nicer than it is and the prices are priced higher than the food is good. My wife and I have eaten there three or four times (usually when we get a coupon) and find it to be decent food and with a coupon it is acceptably priced. The chicken is generally good, the veal can vary in quality. They have good sauces with their pastas and their dessert, coffee and espresso is very good.
Alan S. September 6, 2000
Ariana's is a great restaurant! I've eaten there many times. Very upscale for the Montgomeryville Area. In Fact, it's probably the best place to get Italian food in the whole North Wales Area. Not Pizza, Real Italian food. It's family run. Little Ariana is often seen there coloring behind the counter with her Parents (Who work there too) The food is excellent. Very fresh ingredients. I usually order the Veal Saltimbocca. They have incredible espresso, and desserts imported or locally made. It's BYOB. There's a small smoking area too! A plus in my book in these overly politically correct times. Dress is Business Casual.
Franco Federico, one of the most genial and passionate restaurateurs you will ever meet, has always had a touch of the entrepreneur. At the age of 6, back in Luzzi in Calabria, Italy, young Franco used to cut cactus pears from the fields with a tool he himself created and then sold the fruit in the streets of his village for a penny apiece. Later, Franco and several friends in the town improvised a catering service In the restaurant business since he was 14 - his family once owned a cafe in his hometown, where he worked - this industrious soul and quick learner has spent a lifetime since those golden days avidly watching chefs and paying attention to what guests enjoy the most, and has fashioned a fruitful career simply being around kitchens, customers and, as much as possible, his beloved family.
Today Franco is the proud chef-owner of three fine restaurants in Montgomery County each offering its patrons a totally different dining experience. The oldest, Ariana's Ristorante Brick Oven & Raw Bar, named after' his 13¬year-old' daughter Ariana, opened on Oct. 4, 1994 and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week with all kinds of specials. The second oldest, the dazzling Fountain Side Seafood Grill in Horsham, named after Rome's famed Trevi Fountain, opened in January 1998 and is still thriving.
The baby of the group, Giuliano's Brick Oven Pizza & Bistro, named after Franco's precocious 4-year-old son, is located just a few doors from the Fountain Side in Horsham Plaza. Opened with little fanfare this past summer, it's begun attracting the kind of buzz that any family restaurant would envy.With the valuable assistance of his lovely wife Yvonne, who helps manage all three restaurants - handling the payroll, serving as hostess, waiting tables, doing anything necessary to make her husband's job easier, including bringing in Ariana and Giuliano whenever possible - Franco is the master of a warm and wonderful little realm of hospitality where friendly service, enchanting ambiance and great food reign.
Despite its location in a bustling shopping mall in North Wales, Ariana's retains a neighborhood Italian restaurant feel, with some notable twists. Not only does it boast a busy brick oven, where 16-inch, hand-tossed wood-fired pizzas ($8.95) are available for takeout only - familiar toppings like sausage, sweet peppers and black olives are $1.50 each, while gourmet toppings such as prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes and grilled shrimp are $1.75 each - but it's also the only Italian restaurant in sight with a Raw Bar!
Franco introduced both the brick oven and the bright and cheerful raw bar when he took over the old Sylvan Learning' Center and expanded the restaurant three years ago. Ariana's had been so successful that its 125 seats could no longer accommodate its loyal customer base. With the additional space afforded him, Franco added 75 more seats, some new diamond-pattern carpeting and new paint, a window with hanging potted plants Above left Is a beautiful platter of Fried Calamari and Shrimp. At left are four delectable treats from the menu, including (clockwise from top) "The Godfather," a New York Strip Steak topped with shrimp; Chicken Caesar Salad, Pollo Ariana and a Salmon & Seafood Special connecting the two dining rooms; and some attractive posters celebrating great Italian drinks such as espresso, vino and vermouth bianco (white), scenes of sunny Italy and a great poster of the Art of Italian Cooking.Which brings us to Ariana's menu. Chef Julio Onorato, a native of Mexico who joined the staff three years ago, Sous chef Fedele Castro, who once cooked at the Fountain Side, and pasta chef Antonio Hernandez, a staple at Ariana's since it opened, have worked with Franco to create an exceptional menu of southern and northern Italian favorites.
According to Franco, "Cooking is [mostly] common sense. You have to have a good nose and palate.That's a great start."Yvonne agrees. She says, "He's so good at what he does. He'd love to run a cooking school someday or become a restaurant consultant." At Ariana's, for example, he built his raw bar simply because he personally loves fresh seafood - like exquisite Alaskan Snow Crab Clusters, King Crab Legs and Lobster (half, served steamed or in a cocktail), all available at market price, and New Zealand Mussels ($8.95) on the half shell with balsamic vinaigrette dressing; Blue Point Oysters ($9.95 for six), Crab Claws ($10.95) and more. And his patrons have responded in kind. Pasta and baked pasta dishes (served with house salad, bread baked on the premises and butter) at Ariana's are first-class, including Manicotti ($14.95); Spaghetti alla Carbonara ($13.95), made with sautéed bacon and onion in creamy Alfredo sauce; Gnocchi all Salvia ($11.95), potato dumplings with butter, Parmigiana cheese and sage; Penne all' Arrabiata ($12.95), prepared in a spicy tomato sauce with Calamata olives, capers and garlic.
Popular entrees, all served with soup or house salad and choice of spaghetti or vegetable of the day, include Pollo Ariana ($18.95), chicken breast sautéed in white wine, mixed herbs, scallops and shrimp over a bed of spinach and a touch of marinara; Pollo Ivana ($16.95), sautéed chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, bacon and onions in a creamy Marsala wine sauce; Vitello Posilipo ($20.95), sautéed veal and shrimp with mixed herbs and fresh plum tomatoes in a vodka blush sauce, served with grilled eggplant; and Vitello Ariana ($19.95), veal sautéed in white wine with artichokes and "The Godfather," a recurrent special, consisting of New York Strip Steak sautéed with onions, mushrooms and peppers, topped by Italian mozzarella and grilled shrimp in Marsala sauce. Among the favorite seafood dishes at Ariana's are Frutti di Mare ($23.95), a melange of rock lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels and calamari in a light marinara sauce, served over linguine; Cape Sante Sautéed Scallops ($17.95) with mixed herbs in a light lemon butter sauce; and Dentice Mediterraneo ($19.95), red snapper filet with fresh tomato, garlic, olives, capers and rosemary.Ariana's Tiramisu is excellent. Other fine Bindi desserts are imported from Italy. Any time is a good time to visit Ariana's. But special surprises for patrons during the restaurant's 10th anniversary celebration make it especially enticing over the next few weeks.
We had a wonderful time at Ariana’s the other night we brought the whole family grandparent children and grandchildren 23 people. The service was so pleasant and the food was "WOW"!! just excellent the Chef, Marcello made us a wonderful meal and the manager Yvonne (I think she is the owners wife?), made us feel right at home. We would absolutely recommend Ariana’s to our friend and will be back soon!October 29, 2005
This is one of our favorite local restaurants. Great food. Particularly good fried calamari. Pizzas are also good--individual size, but really enough for two......Expect to wait on weekend nights. If possible, call ahead for reservations. Lunches are just as good and reasonably priced.Colleen January 28, 2005
My husband and I have been going to this restaurant for several years. We love it! The food is the freshest, with the most tantalizing flavors, and the service is always impeccable. It is BYOB, and they provide ice service at the table. for a wonderful evening of Italian food, this is your place.
We have been eating at Ariana's for years , and it has always been excellent .Typically , they have coupons in local publications that offer $ 12.00 off a dinner , etc . Seafood , veal , pasta , are all great .We highly recommend it.
We've always enjoyed eating at Arianas. Food and service are very good. An added plus is that you can always find a coupon for a great deal on higher end Italian food.
We have visited Ariana's numerous times through the years, the food has always been consistent and excellent. Large portions ensure a meal for the next day! My daughter is a bit on the picky side and was perplexed by the menu. Luckily, the kitchen staff was more than willing to fulfill her "plain" requests!!Review submitted by: Jacqueline Ash 08/20/2004
Although you're not required to make a reservation, this restaurant is usually packed, so it's best to make one anyway. The food is all home-made and fantastic. The service is always pleasant, and the ambiance is terrific.