I had been to the two previous restaurants at the same location many times. Irene remembered going once when we had to place our order at the counter and then it was brought to us by a server. This is different in that you place your order from the table.
We were given the option of eating inside or outside. We chose inside because it was cold outside. Tommy was our server, and I have to say that the service was fantastic.
I counted eight people serving throughout our time there; and each was knowledgeable and helpful. All of the servers had “favorites” and they encouraged us to ask questions about the food.
The menu is unique. For example, they have listed seven varieties of pasta and you can choose from eight different sauces to complete the order. In addition to the sauces, you can also choose meatballs, shrimp, Italian pork cheek or veggies as a topping.
In addition to all of the pastas, they have a full range of Italian specialties. There is an array of antipasti, which included grilled crispy octopus, caponata, Romesco peppers sauce and salmorigli; deep fried calamari; bruschetta, and more. There are several salads offered as well.
Tommy recommended the shortribs, but since it was a lunch we were having, we decided to try that at a later time. They have a “baked pasta of the week,” and this week it was lasagna. The entrees included a beef filet; fresh salmon; layered eggplant and more. There is an entire section of vegan foods, and I also noticed some that were gluten-free.
There is an extensive wine list and I noticed that people around me were sampling a variety of wines – both whites and red.
While we were deciding what to order, a server brought us four chunks of Italian bread served in a small paper bag with the name of the restaurant emblazoned on it. There was also a small dish of garlic butter. We were given our own pitcher of water, and I have to mention that the dish wear was absolutely delightful. Every table had a different pitcher; the dishes that the food was served on were colorful and fun.
Irene decided to order the fettuccine with the “Zio Alfredo” sauce. It was described as “creamy Alfredo sauce with crispy guanciale, Parmigiano crumble and Parmigiano Regglano. The cost was $16.95.
I decided to have the “Polpo and Caponata” – grilled octopus. I asked Tommy how big the order was and he said it was a nice size. He also told me it was one of his favorites. The cost was $14 and he was correct. It was filling for a lunch.
Also listed on the menu was a “soup of the day.” That day, it was mushroom.
Irene said that the fettuccine was some of the best she had ever had. When asked if she wanted Parmesan cheese on it, she answered “yes” and they brought over a chunk of fresh cheese and grated it for her. Everything tasted so fresh.
The octopus was tender and tasty. I would order it again without hesitation. The pepper sauce it was served on was delicious. It was hard to decide which to eat first!
When I made the reservation, I was asked if it was for a special occasion and I said it was a birthday. Mine was last week, and Irene’s is coming up very shortly. When we were seated one of the servers came over and asked which one of us was “Judi,” and was it my birthday. I pointed to Irene and said it was her birthday.
As Tommy presented us with the bill ($33.35), he also gave us two spoons. I asked him what that was for, since we were paying the bill. He answered, “It’s a surprise.” And what a great surprise it was.
One of the owners of the restaurant wheeled out a tray that had lady fingers, espresso, mascarpone, and cinnamon on it. He proceeded to make us our very own tiramisu, as all the servers stood around and sang “Happy Birthday” to us! We were so surprised, and it was a delightful ending to a wonderful experience.
There is no question that we will be going back, and doing so soon. When the food is good; the service excellent; and the atmosphere delightful, why wouldn’t you? Check it out!
4161 Voltaire St.