PHX - Gilbert - La Calabria Ristorante
- StuCazzo Aug 21, 2008 09:35 PM
My wife had heard that this new Italian restaurant was open in the Gilbert area so we decided to try it out. The owner Giovanni is very friendly. He grew up in the Calabria region of Italy.
We are so glad that we tried it out. The food is excellent!
The pasta is actually cooked and served al dente!!!
The restaurant details are below:
La Calabria Ristorante
1534 E Ray Road, Gilbert, AZ 85296
Phone: (480) 726-3537
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Thanks for the review. I saw the ribbon cutting in the Gilbert news so by your review my husband and i thought we would try it. The food is fantastic, service attentive and both owners work there and are very friendly. I had the homemade al dente Shrimp Fettucini Calabria and it was wonderful. La Calabria was also on Good Afternoon Az and you can get some info on their website.
Wow...That is not the place I went to...The atmosphere is the worse...Too much, light and noice...There are only tables...The food for the price is below average...I thought my dish was from a microwave meal... Good service, but the food and atmosphere refect the corner street mall that it is in
Restaurant is amazing! You are certainly NOT Italian. They cook like you are at home in your livingroom. If you like dark (so you can't see your food and what they are hiding) go to Scottsdale. Food is cooked fresh to order and if you don't appreciate the fact there is a window so you can see the clean prep of your meal you are completely clueless.
La Calabria Ristorante really does having amazing food. The owners were so friendly and came out a number of times to talk to the customers.There is a great family feel right when you walk in. I had the Cheese Ravioli which was fantastic and the homemade cheesecake for dessert. I found a link to their blog at lacalabria.wordpress.com. I highly reccomend La Calabria Ristorante!
Lill and I went to La Calabria on Sat night and really loved it. The owners, Clara and Giovanni, are both really pleasant to talk with. Clara runs the front of the house and even though she's from Lawn Guyland, this former Bostonian found her very friendly. 8-)Giovanni is the head chef and tossed out some great plates.
We started with stuffed fungi that were filled with a parmesan/sausage stuffing, sitting on some veal (I think) jus. Really yum.
Lill had butternut squash raviolli with a butter sage sauce. While it sounds typical, the flavors were anything but. The squash was not at all overspiced letting the full flavor of the squash shine through. The irregularly cut pasta squares were fresh as can be and cooked perfectly.
I had the osso buco and was equally happy. The veal shank was meaty and cooked to the point where it was tender but not falling apart. It sat on top of saffrony risotto (nicely cooked) and topped with a red sauce. I thought it could use some gremolata to give the dish a bit more acidic lift but my plate was empty.
Giovanni brought us out a pair of complimentary choc covered strawberries on whipped cream which was an unexpected surprise.
Clara makes the Italian (ricotta) cheesecake. Giovanni makes the tiramisu. We had both in full gluttonous fashion. The cheesecake was light and lemony and topped with a bright strawberry puree. I appreciated the unadulterated berry flavor compared to the jelly like substance on top of many a cheesecake. The tiramisu was passable but not as good as the cheesecake.
The wine list is short but decently designed and affordable. With the exception of an $80 bottle of nero d'avola/cab sauv blend, the rest of the list was priced at $34 and below. There is a prosecco, a brachetto d'acqui, 3 whites (2 chards, 1 pinot grigio) and 6(?) reds ranging from north to south. A barbera from Piedmont, a couple of chianti from Tuscany, and a few nero d'avola and blends from the south.
We had the 2007 Fontanafredda Barbera Briccotondo that tasted like a cinnamon dusted milk chocolate truffle. I'm not a big fan of chocolate tones in italian wines but others may love it (Wine Spec just gave this wine 90pts fwiw). At 2x retail ($30 on the restaurant list) it doesnt blow the budget.
We saw families, groups of various sizes and ages, and couples on a date all enjoying the company of Clara as she stopped by or Giovanni as he popped out of the kitchen. Our waiter was really nice to talk with as well and the bussers were efficient and non-intrusive.
Overall, we highly recommend La Calabria and we plan on going back often.
Thanks for the tip, Stu