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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Parkville (MO): CombatCritic Upgrades Café Italia from 6 Bombs to 7 Bombs

We returned to the NEW Cafe Italia in Parkville last November.  Because they had only been open a few weeks, it was obvious they had some “bugs” to work out (not literally, thankfully).  We returned on January 21st, 2012 and were pleasantly surprised by the changes.

The atmosphere is sparse with few furnishings, but modern and warm with a touch of elegance as opposed to their old locaton on North Oak. The menu was still missing one of my favorites, vitello saltimbocca, but Paulo, the owner, promised he would have it made for me next time we came. My wife is Italian, born in Sicily, so she and Paulo share a common family heritage site and Paulo speaks decent Italian, so my wife enjoyed the conversation.

Again, we started with wine from the limited wine list, with prices being reasonable, from $6-$7.50/glass.  We decided to forego the stuffed artichoke which, while tasty, and hot, was much too "cheesy" and drenched in olive oil on our first visit. My wife surprised me and instead of having the ravioli con funghi again (stuffed with chicken, prosciutto, and capicolo in a mushroom crème sauce), she had the vitello picatta, veal medallions with capers and mushrooms in a white wine and lemon reduction, which was excellent.  I had the vitello marsala (veal cutlets covered with a marsala wine and mushroom sauce), rather than the vitello alla parmigiana which I had last time. The veal was very good, but a little thick and tough for my liking.  Paul told me that he prefers not to “pound” the veal as is normally done with these dishes and I have to respect his choice although I would do otherwise.  I also prefer to have my veal lightly battered before being sautéed, another missing step as far as I was concerned.  The dish was excellent and the sauce perfect, even if Café Italia chooses to do it differently than I like.

Again, we were too full for dessert.  We plan on making a return visit on Valentine’s Day, so we will have to save room for dessert and try the tiramisu!

CombatCritic Upgrades Café Italia (Parkville, MO) from 6 Bombs to 7 Bombs (“Bombs”, in this case, are good)

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