Last Friday we got a call from some friends asking us to join them for dinner at Cafe Italia. We were free and agreed to join them, and looked forward to the experience. Besides the fact that it’s always nice to spend time with friends, we had not yet eaten at Cafe Italia and had been wanting to go. I am not sure how it happened that we hadn’t been yet. I often run at the track at Grapevine Middle School right across the street and around 5:30 p.m., you can smell the pizza ovens warming up and it’s so enticing. You would think I would have hightailed it over there after a workout – although I would have been a little underdressed. 😉
Cafe Italia is BYOB and so we took along a bottle of Malbec which it so happened we had gotten from the monthly wine club at Cork It! They have really good bread – not buttery or garlicky, just fresh and tasty – and most entrees come with a salad. I went with the house dressing which is some kind of basil viniagrette. They have other dressings as well.
I had a hard time deciding what to order but decided to go with the chicken cacciatore since I had a long run the next morning and didn’t want to go with anything too heavy (or spicy – which is why I skipped the chicken arrabbiata).
The Chicken Jerusalem has been recommended to me in the past as well and it did look delicious (chicken with artichokes, garlic and mushrooms in sherry cream sauce). Other options that tempted me: chicken marsala, beef medallions madeira, and manicotti. I would absolutely have gotten the manicotti if it wasn’t 105 degrees outside. That’s what I’ll be ordering in January. Nothing is cozier in the dead of winter than baked pasta.
Jason went for the lobster ravioli, which was exactly what I’d predicted (I know him too well!). His favorite pasta dishes always have seafood. I had a taste of the ravioli and it was delicious. I saw him eyeing the fettuccini with shrimp (pink vodka sauce, yum!) and the shrimp scampi as well. So many choices, but only one meal – so we will have to return soon to check out the other dishes.
We considered dessert but decided to take the party elsewhere. They don’t have a set dessert menu but just tell you what they have that day (always a nice hometown restaurant sort of thing). There will be another post forthcoming about the second half of the evening. In the meantime, put Cafe Italia on your list of local places to check out. The outside doesn’t look like much (I’m fairly certain it used to be a Taco Bueno or some such) but the atmosphere inside is very nice, the service great and the food delicious.