What: Home-style Italian
Where: On the Plaza
Price Range: $$ - $$$
Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Reservations: (407) 224-3663 or OpenTable.com
This cheerful and noisy Italian eatery blends contemporary decor with the homey touch of that old neighborhood Italian restaurant you loved as a kid. The decor is trendy postmodern with terra cotta colored walls and blue banquettes. Decorative accents are provided by Roman stone heads and words like “cucina,” “pizza,” and “antipasto” spelled out in cursive red neon. The menu features the kind of comfortable Italian dishes that won’t have you reaching for your Italian-English dictionary.
Appetizers and salads ($4 to $13) include fried calamari, fried cheese ravioli, and Italian wedding soup. Pasta dishes ($12 to $19) range from straightforward lasagna and spaghetti to blue crab ravioli and shrimp pasta with a spicy red pepper sauce. They also serve up some very tasty personal pizzas ($8 to $9) from a wood-fired pizza oven.
Meat and poultry dishes ($14 to $24) include such Italian staples as veal and chicken prepared parmigiana, marsala, or piccata style, along with grilled ribeye and pork chops. Among the seafood entrees ($18 to $20) the Seafood Fra Diavolo is a standout. Vegetable side dishes ($3 to $5), include a wonderful broccoli with roasted garlic and lemon.
The wine list features Sangiovese reds for $23 to $110; half bottles of California wines are considerably less. Desserts ($3 to $5) are of the standard Italian variety and for $12 you can pig out on your choice of three of them. Because everything is a la carte, the bill can add up quickly, though the kids' buffet ($10) can soften the sting. A 15% gratuity is added to the bill for parties of six or more. Pastamoré has an attached deli and espresso bar that opens early; see the Fast Food section, below..
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