Italian around Chandler, AZ
Any ideas for Italian around Chandler, AZ?
We're always on a quest for good Italian around our Chandler neighborhood.
Our very favorite is Tutti Santi on the corner of Dobson/Guadalupe(in Mesa). This is a wonderful place...comfortable, great service, excellent food. I am particularly fond of the Linguine Vongole which is what I always order. It's my favorite version in the Phoenix area so far. (ask them to add a little red pepper to it).
It's not what we call a cheap and cheerful spot in our house though. For that we hit Floridino's on Alma School and Galveston. This is a little spot, very informal. the kind of place that more often than not you'll run into neighbors(that's actually been our experience fairly regularly). Great calzones, good pizza. The pasta menu is basic but good(the menu itself is basic which keeps cost down). We go for a bowl of pasta,some lasagna or manicotti, or split a calzone and rarely spend more than $20.
The other place we really like in this area is La Stalla in San Marcos Plaza. I really like the pizzas here(Woodfired). The pastas always look good but we haven't actually tried them yet as we keep ordering apps, salad, and pizza when we've been there. Last time we were there(last month) they were offering burrata as an appetizer. Nice ambiance, often have music on the weekends. On the upscale side but not horribly expensive.
Have you tried Rigatony's on Arizona and Elliot (??) ? Great antipasto salad and ciabatta bread. The restaurant runs lunch and early-bird specials on pasta dishes complete with antipasto salad for around $6 between 4p and 5p (please check website to make sure). Check out their "specials" link for take-out meals... I've always wanted to try, but need a place to take the meal to!! Anyone want to host an Italian dinner event? We need someone to provide ambience (dining room, plates and silverware, wine glasses) and another to bring good wine and other refreshments. Those that do not bring goodies can split the cost of the dinner with me :) LOL.
La Stalla's linguine vongole is good, as well. Pasta Pomodoro, albeit a chain, serves up good pasta (fruitti di mare, cioppino) and great misto salads. I love the fact that the pastas are made to order, and the chef is willing to tweak the dishes for people who have allergies or other food concerns.
Hey! Just checked Rigatony's website and found they hosted a $40 (plus tax and gratuity) winemaker dinner 9/24, Monday! Looked appetizing, too!
For good thin-crust pizza, check out Venezia's Pizzeria on Pecos Rd. Search google for the website.
La Stalla Cucina Rustica
68 W Buffalo St, Chandler, AZ 85225
Rigatony's Authentic Italian
223 E Brown Rd, Mesa, AZ
16255 N Scottsdale Rd Ste 1, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Venezia's New York Style Pizzeria
2721 S Ellsworth Rd, Mesa, AZ 85209
La Stalla puts cream in their Vongole! Big no no in my book.
We tried Rigatony's this past weekend for the first time and were actually disappointed considering it's pretty much a local institution. We found the calamari to be overly breaded and tough. The salad was good and with all the salami and cheese could be a meal by itself. I had veal marsala...sauce was too thick and overly sweet. Husband tried the spaghetti and meatballs ...the meatballs had too much filling, weren't hot enough, and the sauce really zesty...better suited for pizza. Both the linguine that came under my marsala and the spaghetti were cooked well past al dente.
We used to like Pasta Pomodoro but the original manager left a couple years ago and it hasn't been the same since.
We are admittedly tough critics when it comes to Italian food however. We do like Va Bene over in Ahwatukee but again not a cheap and cheerful kind of place.
The others have covered the main ones in Chandler. Below are two others that got overlooked:
Gilbert Pizza - Not just wonderful pizza. They also have good Italian food. Owner is from Sicily.
Cafe Roma - OK, not in Chandler, but worth the drive out to Mesa.
The first time I had some seafood pasta special I didn't like(seafood overcooked). Husband had orrechiette...one of the homemade pastas...pasta was gummy and tough. Not tender at all. "Prosciutto" and Asparagus special...the prosciutto was faux prosciutto...some kind of domestic product would be my guess.
second time we had to go back for a birthday celebration....weren't thrilled at all but to be honest can't remember what we ate...were focusing on the company and blocked out the food. (some kinds of pastas again that were unimpressive.) I do remember I had horrible mushroom soup that tasted of nothing but cream. the first time I had the wedding soup..also underseasoned and the stock hadn't been defatted. bleck.
Also both times while the servers at the table were pleasant the owners and hostesses at the front door were less than friendly and pleasant.
There's a review here from someone else who went and had salad and pizza and also wasn't impressed.
on a positive not, they do pull a good espresso shot and our friends said the tiramisu was quite good.
On my second visit to Vincitorio's, I asked my server what his fave dish was on the menu, and he said he absolutely loved the Veal Scallopini, and now I can also say I love it!! I usually try something new everytime I go back to a restaurant I've eaten before, so once I've tried most things on the menu (I'm allergic to many ingredients, and some dishes just aren't the same without these ingredients), I will definitely have to order the veal scallopini, but with more veggies instead of the pasta. I cannot wait to go back and try more of their entrees.
I've been craving calamari... and Pasta Pomodoro's Misto salad. Speaking of salads, has anyone tried the house salad at Cibo? My goodness! The best "house" salad I've ever had... can't imagine how much better the other gourmet salads can be... WOW!