Melbourne hounds -- and I know you're out there because I hear you complaining!
Found the most adorable little Italian restaurant today, on the recommendation of my mother-in-law. (I'll never doubt her again!) It's called Zappala's and it's in the Lake Washington Shoppes plaza, the one on the southweat corner of Wickham and Lake Wash., next-door to Baskin Robbins. The dining room is tiny (it used to be a pizza place) but you can still see into the immaculate kitchen. And you don't have to look too hard to find the owners -- two Sicilian sisters by way of Brooklyn -- because they'll come sit at your table and talk to you. You know the type -- hair pinned up, white blouse with sauce spots, black skirt, nosy but loving.
This restaurant has delicious, homey Italian food served with the greatest of love and care, and it is in GREAT FINANCIAL DESPERATION! The owners, from lack of exposure, inconspicuous location or whatever, are barely making enough to pay their rent after the 9/11 slump. When the snowbirds start leaving in April, they'll be sunk after only a year and a half in business.
They are open Monday-Saturday until 10pm (closed Sundays) and have a light, inexpensive lunch menu that features terrific fresh garlic knots with entrees. I haven't tried their pizza but I've heard great things, which surprised me since it was a regular restaurant. The tiramisu is homemade and distinctive. (Big notes of mocha) The dinner menu is extensive and looks delicious, and I can't wait to try it out. They dont' deliver but they do have takeout; their number is 321-255-3123. Best of all -- unlike Bella's, you can get a table!!
C'mon, hounds, don't let a great place like this die! If you're not from the area and want to make a trip, email me and I'll be happy to give you directions. You won't regret it!