Where is the best Italian food on west side of Phoenix area?
Grazie at Verrado, Bella Luna Ristorante, or Dino's Greek & Italian Grill.
I have never had a good experience at Cucina Tagliani -- generally wind up with a mushy pasta or a grey boiled sausage -- but I'm pretty sure it's a good spot, I've just been ordering wrong. I find myself hoping that they're opening a new branch near me at the defunct Johnny Carino's, McDowell & Dysart. A bunch of 'Now Hiring signs are up, but they don't say what for. It's an almost identical space as their branch in Arrowhead, and the local chains get good support here.
If anyone wants to try what I've found to be as close to NY style Italian in a friendly, casual atmosphere then I would recomend Times Square Neighborhood Restraunt (http://www.timessquareaz.com/) on Deer Valley Rd, just west of I-17 in Peoria.
They only take rez's for parties of 6 or more, and you WILL see a good size line on Fri's and Sat's for dinner, but it is good, and worth the wait if you're willing.
I'd recommend any of the dishes, but my favorites are the calamari salad (Insalata del Mar) the rolled, stuffed eggplant (Eggplant Sorrentino) and the Ossobucco.
From what I understand it is owned and operated by 3 people who are from NY, so at least you can be sure you're getting good food, nicely seasoned, with the taste of home made from people who know how to "get it done"!
One more thing, the last time I was there, it's CASH only.
A small inconvenience for the quality of food, service and the atmosphere at reasonable prices.