Restaurant Review: A Ca Mia Italian Restaurant in Walnutport, PA

A new restaurant called A Ca Mia just opened in Walnutport, owned by a well-regarded chef with decades of experience.  Between that and the fact that the only other restaurants in the area are fast food, we were anxious to check it out.

The Food

I was very happy with my meal.  There was the traditional bread with dipping oil, then a salad with vidalia onion dressing, and Meat Sauce Bolognese for my entree: "Our traditional combination of veal, beef and pork meat slowly braised and cooked in a red wine tomato sauce."  For dessert I had the cannoli, which used puff pastry instead of the usual thin shell, and it was delicious.

You choose whichever kind of pasta you’d like in the Bolognese, and I chose penne.  The portion size was gigantic: I ate about a third of it, and took the rest home, where I weighed it to find it was nearly two pounds left over.

My only complaints are minor: the salad was served in a bowl that was just barely big enough to hold it, which means that it’s virtually impossible to mix after pouring on the dressing (which they serve on the side); the "dipping oil" for the bread was actually a mountain of minced garlic covered in a small amount of oil, which was so spicy from all the garlic that it was slightly painful to eat; and they don’t offer sweet iced tea, nor raspberry iced tea, to drink -- just soda and unsweetened tea (and of course water, milk, and hot drinks).

Kim’s meal, however, was disappointing.  She called ahead to ask whether they have any gluten-free meals, and they said yes.  But when we got there, our waitress told us that they could make pretty much any regular meal gluten-free upon request.  That might sound good at first, but in reality what it means is they haven’t actually put any time or effort into making good gluten-free meals.  Technically it’s true that they can make most of their meals gluten-free by serving them without the pasta, but that doesn’t mean the resulting meals are going to be any good (e.g. lasagna without noodles would be pretty pathetic, and not at all the same as lasagna with gluten-free noodles).

The chicken and broccoli that Kim got is a prime example of this.  I’m not sure exactly what it would have looked like in the regular version, but the gluten-free version was 3 large chicken breasts surrounded by some broccoli on a plate with a very watery white sauce.  The chicken did not seem to be seasoned nor seared at all, and the sauce was not creamy, not cheesy, just watery.

The Atmosphere

A Ca Mia probably didn’t have many good options for where to site the restaurant in the Walnutport area, through no fault of its own, of course.  But the location is quite small, and the tables are packed into it pretty tightly.  It’s a single room, and I believe it’s all tables, with no booths.  It feels crowded.  There was a waitress or busboy hustling past us pretty much the whole time.

The restaurant is also noisy.  Partly this was because of a large, rowdy group seated near our table, and partly it’s because it was a Saturday night (though it was 9:30 PM, nearly closing time) -- but it’s also partly because of the single-room layout and the lack of sound-dampening design features (particularly carpet) in the space.  It feels more like a cafeteria than a restaurant.

The Verdict

I would gladly eat at A Ca Mia again, despite its flaws.  The menu is expansive, with about 60 entrees (including a large seafood section) and over a dozen appetizers.  And as I mentioned, there are few if any other decent restaurants in the area, so it’s almost the only game in town.  They had a 45-60 minute wait around 6:30 PM so they seem to be doing well.

On the other hand, Bravo is only 20 minutes down the road.  And as much as I did like the food at A Ca Mia, it is just not in the same league as Bravo.  If it were considerably cheaper, that’d be one thing, but our meal (two entrees, two sodas, and two desserts -- no appetizers and no alcohol) was $50 before tip, which is the same price or more expensive than a meal at Bravo, or Outback Steakhouse, or P.F. Chang’s, etc.

And A Ca Mia just doesn’t have much to offer people with a gluten intolerance, which is a significant portion of the population, even if many of them haven’t discovered it yet.  The restaurant could certainly stand to take 5 of those 60 entrees and replace them with a few well-designed dishes that are truly gluten-free.

Posted by Anthony on 8 replies


01. Jan 24, 2013 at 09:51pm by Mom:

Sound really good, can’t wait til they reopen for the season in Cape May so I can try them there.  Sucks for Kim, tho.

02. Feb 21, 2013 at 04:02am by Sarah G:

What I am looking for in a restaurant if they do know what they are serving? Every single details of nutritional foods they have and why did they choose it. I’ve read at and article about zinc deficiency that it is important to know what you are eating even in restaurants and much better if you will avoid fastfood chains. zinc deficiency

03. Feb 21, 2013 at 01:22pm by Anthony:


04. Jul 15, 2013 at 06:22am by Ernie:

You need to find another place to eat. Are you a Bravo employee? Please don’t go back, More chance I can get in. Looking for atmosphere, go to NY.

05. Jul 17, 2013 at 02:19am by Anthony:

You need to find another place to leave dumb comments.  Are you an A Ca Mia employee?  Please don’t come back, more chance I can read intelligent comments instead.  Looking to troll, go elsewhere.

06. Mar 5, 2015 at 02:37pm by Dave J:

My wife and I have never found a better Italian restaurant than A Cia Mia, Walnutport, PA, and we have eaten at probably 15 different Italian restaurants from Maine to Florida. The portions are generous, the food superb and the waiters and waitress have always been polite. We started eating at Paulo’s when they were in Northampton years ago, and again, Paulo is a superb chef and trained and worked in Italy for many years before opening his restaurant "Paulo’s" in Northampton, Pa. This is our opinion of A Cia Mia, Superb all the way!I was a Realtor for 24years and when I had homes to show clients in the area, I’d take them to Paulo’s in Northampton, PA., and never, not even one time, did any client complain about the food or restaurant, in fact many of them go to A Cia Mia because they know when they’ve found a good thing. Hat’s off to Chef Paulo and his staff.....Dave & Barb -Lehigh Valley, PA

07. Sep 6, 2015 at 10:54pm by Erika Markley:

Paolo sold the restaurant in Cape May, it is not good by any means, God mother’s in Cape May is the best choice. 

A ca mia’s food is by far better than Bravo.  Every dish is made to order and is delicious, the portion size is huge compared to Bravo and you don’t have to pay separate for a salad.  I guess you had a bad experience looking for strictly gluten free meals, yiu asked if they had gluten free items, not a gluten free menu

08. Jan 29, 2016 at 02:46pm by Carmela:

I ate at Paolo’s restaurant in Northampton many times over the years but when it closed, I never had the chance to try out his new restaurant, A Ca Mia, until recently.  From the moment I walked in throughout the meal, it was a wonderful experience.  The host and waitress were very friendly and tended to our every need.  The food was wonderful. I ordered the small portion of Chicken Millanese (which I never had).  It was the best chicken entree I ever ate.  It was flavorful and plenty.  The small portion included 2 large pieces of chicken.  I took half home and enjoyed yet another meal.  I plan to go back very soon and highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a good restaurant that isn’t your basic run of the mill place with the same boring menu you see everywhere.

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