Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cafe Italiano -- by gcleff11

Take one wonderfully colorful character (Dad), mix with a business savvy, extremely intelligient manager (Son), and you have a winning formula for restaurant success.  And with Dad's decades of experience already passed down to Son, you know the food is delicious even before you have that hot plate put in front of you.  This place is easily a Top-10 restaurant in Spokane County.  There's an abundance of dedication to product, and a spirit of entrepeneurialism at Cafe Italiano unmatched by any other place it's size in our area.  A little corner strip mall joint on the Northside that I can't possibly think anyone would not enjoy...

I don't normally comment on other reviewer's opinions, but when someone writes an Urbanspoon review and says, "It's just Greek people making Italian food," who cares about national origin when the food is this good?  Heck, the best French chefs in New York City are all Mexican.  It's a non-issue in my book, and it shouldn't matter to you either...

Dinner started with a lovely, and perfect Hummus antipasti, accompanied by a crisp lager for me and a very large glass of house merlot for my wife...




I have heard and read about how phenomenal their pizza is.  Someday I will try it.  But I was zeroed in from the get-go to have a creamy, comfort food pasta dish on a dreary, rainy Spokane November early evening.  My selection was Crab Gratinata, and the Son reminded me that one of the day's specials was Lobster Gratinata for the same price.  Far be it from me to not upgrade to the king of crustaceans.  It was superb, and beckoned me to take a nap after completion...




My lovely wife was echoing my sentiment for comfort that evening, and selected another creamygoodness dish....Chicken Milano.  I was grateful to sample it, and it was no less superb than my platter, with a wonderful "nutmeggy" overtone...




Dinner was capped off with a very generous portion of baklava.  Sensing we each did not want another libation, our Host brought us ice waters to clean the palate and wash down the flaky, honey goodness.  It was a thoughtful touch.  Simple, yet demonstrative of the little things this family does to make your experience special...





It took awhile to finally visit here.  Living in Cheney, there is no travel road of convenience to get to the Northside.  And with Cafe Italiano's focus on dinner, it's tough in the evenings to want to drive all the way there after the work day is done.  Staying in Spokane for a birthday/anniversary weekend finally gave me a window of opportunity to take this place off my wishlist.  It's totally reminiscent of family places I loved eating at back east while growing up, and in that regard my dinner was truely comforting and nostalgic at the same time...





BUSINESS NOTES:  Cafe Italiano is open 7 days a week for dinner 3PM to close, according to their facebook page.  All dinner entres on the menu are extremely affordable, ranging between $10-20.  There is news that the family will be opening another location on the South Hill in the old West Wing.  This is great news for myself, because it will be much closer to my home.  To view their menu, visit their website at...   http://www.cafe-italiano.com/Cafe_Italiano_Spokane/Cafe_Italiano_Spokane.html


Cafe Italiano on Urbanspoon

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