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Aug 16, 2006 01:54 AM

Nick's Italian in AZ?

I heard it was good but only found one reference on here (not to be confused with Nick's Pizza).

Here's the link:

The prices seem really good. More money for vino!

The seem to be flourishing in the NE valley. That might be a bit of a hike for my friends. Anything more central that is similar? I already know of Guiseppe's.

Thanks for sharing.

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  1. If in NE Mesa, try Cafe Roma

    Address: 2011 N Recker Rd, Mesa, AZ 85215
    Phone: (480) 654-0558

    Never been to Nick's, but the menu looks like your
    normal Americanized Italian fare. In the kitchen
    at Cafe Roma, you will hear Italian spoken......

    In fact, I just had lunch at Cafe Roma today with
    my wife and it was excellent as usual. Very highly

    5 Replies
    1. re: StuCazzo

      Sshh! Cafe Roma is my secret amazing Italian place. I want them to operate comfortably, but not get mobbed with the foodie crowd. The food is so good and the owners so gracious -- I never crack the menu anymore, I just ask them to bring me what they'd like me to have.

      I would hate to see Cafe Roma ruined by popularity. Plus, I want to keep my Mona Lisa smile whenever people say ridiculous things like the only good food in town is in Scottsdale or downtown, or that Phoenicians have no access to real Italian food, etc.

      1. re: themis

        You have me mondering, what is it with Italian restaurants being kept under Chowhounds' hats the most? First Giuseppe's, now Cafe Roma?

        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

          I can't speak for others, but I rarely make recommendations for authentic-any-kind-of-European-cuisine to people I don't know well. It's just that I've read so many outraged French or Italian reviews here where people spit,'It took two *hours* for dinner! Horrible service.' when in actuality, that's how it should be. It should be three to four hours if it's any good. An apertif, an appetizer; wine with dinner; cheeses or dessert; perhaps coffee; a digestif -- the European style. Conviviality, enjoying the food and your companions. It just pains me that dinner is never an occasion anymore, it's just a rush, and that's what everyone expects and seems to want.

          So unless I know the requester understands that yes, they will have to ask for the check; and yes, they will have to notify the server right upfront about their symphony or movie tickets or whathaveyou; that no, their server will not be aware of these things telepathically and know when to hurry the meal along, so there's no use steaming and fuming -- I keep my mouth shut. Sometimes I'm eating; but sometimes, I like to *dine.* But I don't think many others appreciate dining, anymore, so I keep those places close to my vest.

          1. re: themis

            Feel free to let me know of these places, themis. J. and I have no qualms about "dining" experiences. When you go in with the mindset of good company, good food, and good conversation, you can spent hours dining and have it seem like minutes.

          2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

            JK Grence, About six or eight years ago, Cafe Roma used to be at the corner of Power and Main St, Mesa but moved several years ago. Same husband & wife ownership that was not tightly in place on my first visit to the Recker location. It was spotty for a bit, probably followed their personal ups & downs. If they're back together and things are humming, the food can be wonderful. It's homey, old-fashioned, Mama-in-the-kitchen Italian -- not Americanized Italian. She's at the stove and he's the FOH schmmozer who loves race horses. If you like sausage & greens over pasta, hers is top notch. My husband always ordered the stromboli and could never finish it but loved trying. It was homemade everything at Cafe Roma. Let us know how you like it.

      2. I've visited the one at Tatum and Shea twice.

        I agree, it's standard Americanized Italian. The grilled squid, which I ordered both times I went, was excellent - a little char, not too tough, served with a decent arrabiata.

        The pastas weren't so great. The pesto in particular was disappointing, it seemed kind of like a bechamel laced with basil and garlic, a little gloopy and not at all like genovese pesto. The lasagna wasn't too bad, but nothing stellar.

        A lot of the desserts are some (I think pre-packaged) ice cream bombes they refer to as tartufo. Pretty blah, avoid.

        Both times I went, it seemed about half of the tables were ordering the pizza, which I didn't try. Looked to be New York style.

        1. Thanks for the tip. It doesn't seem to be on anyone's radar... couldn't find any reviews, but that doesn't mean much.

          It's not that central to me, but I have friends in the Las Sendas area so I'll definitely check it out.

          1. -- Not to be confused with Nic's in Cottonwood -- which is also good, and reasonably-priced. Very popular, hence noisy.

            Cheers -- Pete Tillman