I just tried some of the best Italian food there is around. Everyone talks about Gianmarco's but I believe Bambinelli's Italian Cafe in English Village to be much better. For one thing, it is much more casual and laid back. You get the quality of food and a good atmosphere without the pretentiousness. Plus, it is a bigger restaurant so your chances of getting in and getting a table on the weekends without a reservation are very good. They also have a four-star rating.
We came in last night to find out that all bottles of wine are half price on Mondays and Wednesdays. They have a great wine list, about 70 wines, with some really nice wines priced anywhere between $25 and $200. Leah was our server and she was very cool. Everything that she recommended was perfect. We got a great bottle of wine, can't remember the name though, some sort of chianti. She was so knowledgeable about the menu and even did a little presentation for us since it was our first time there. She told us that all the sauces were made made fresh from scratch and all the meats and seafood are fresh.
We had the calamari for an appetizer and it was probably the best that I have ever had. For dinner, I ordered the veal piccata, per her recommendation, and it was the best piccata I have ever had. My friend ordered the trifecta, which was chicken, shrimp and italian sausage over angel hair pasta in a creamy marinara sauce. It was fantastic, especially the sausage. It was so soft and spicy and full of flavor. All the dinners come with a small salad, and they don't use iceberg, with a house vinaigrette. They serve bread as well, but they don't give olive oil like most places, but just butter. It was just a basic white loaf but it was warm and toasty and tasted very good with the butter. We were fine with that because it wasn't a bread that pairs well with olive oil, but I know that some people aren't okay with it. They had some homemade desserts and we tried the cheesecake, which was incredible. She told us that it was the owner's own recipe and it was so good. It is hard to find a good homemade cheesecake at restaurants.
The atmosphere was nice. There are two separate rooms that both have real wood fireplaces in them, which was a nice touch and created a great atmosphere. We liked that it seemed like a laid back family owned place.
I am new to this message board and was surprised that no one has mentioned this place yet because it was really fantastic. I'm going here for authentic italian from now on. The menu is massive with all sorts of stuff that I need to try. They had lasagna, ravioli, ziti, lots of different spaghettis, marsala and parmigiana style stuff, lots of different and seafood dishes, and they also serve pizza and calzones with a dough they make themselves. I will try the pizza next time I go because I saw one at a table near us and it looked great, with a nice thin crust.
Had anyone else been there? I am interested to hear about other people's experiences there because I think it is a great place.