Cafe Italia

Café Italia- 3471 N Federal Hwy., 
Oakland Park                                http://cafeitaliafortlauderdale.com

Recently some friends of mine introduced me to an Italian restaurant that I’ve wanted to try, but was never motivated enough to visit.  After all, to say we have a lot of Italian restaurants in the Lauderdale area is a gross understatement.  So with the further inducement of…”we’re buying”…I relented.  When I walked into the place and met owner, chef, food impresario, and wise philosopher Francesco, I was instantly hooked.  It was like when Golda Meir shook hands with Anwar Sadat for the first time and said, “ What took you so long?” Francesco is very proud to tell you that he’s from the Abruzzo region of Italy and will point to a map in the dining room to show you exactly where. He is also very proud of his food and eagerly explains about its freshness and authenticity. When the food arrives you know everything he said was true. It turns out Francesco can sometimes be the greeter, take an order and prepare the meal although on most nights his wife does the honors in the kitchen. All entrées are served with a house salad and fabulous Italian bread from Grand Forno Bakery. Try the Lamb Meatball Ragu with spaghetti, the Eggplant Parmigiana with a side of spaghetti, the Lasagne alla Bolognese and the Spaghetti Vongole.  All very reasonably priced. I’m sure I’ll have more suggestions for you after my next several visits. Until then, follow the link to a Sun Sentinel review on this restaurant that some say, is the best-kept secret in Fort Lauderdale.  http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sfl-dinecafeitalia,0,7418101.story

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