Regina's has packed them in since opening in 1985. It's charming, in its own Liberace-inspired way, with heavily gilded pictures and chintz window treatments. The menu's a bit pretentious -- appetizers are listed senza translation, and the bloated wine list is light on by-the-glass choices -- though the servers are a modest and mostly appeasing bunch. The trick is to know what to order and be skeptical of overreaching. Regina's red sauce is excellent -- full of garlic and not too sweet. The melanzane ripiene (rolled eggplant stuffed with spinach and ricotta and baked with a topping of romano and asiago cheese) highlights the sauce to perfection and was the highlight of my visit. The chicken marsala was on firm footing too. Unfortunately, the risotto with scallops and braised short ribs, a special of the evening, featured crunchy rice. The server's response: "That's the way they cook it." More griping: the cream of artichoke soup tasted of neither cream nor artichoke -- in fact it was utterly void of flavor. But the homemade tiramisu was a gift from the gods. The ladyfingers were just the way I like them: soaked but not soggy.
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