If there is one thing, we have an abundance of in SWFL it is Italian Restaurants. It also seems everyone has their favorites that are located close by where they live. However, sometimes it is worth traveling a further distance to experience something truly wonderful. That is what we experienced at Cafe Italia. They are located at in the Publix shopping center on Summerlin near John Morris Road and across from the Sanibel Outlet stores. They are family owned and operated with Chef Mike in the kitchen and his wife and son welcoming and serving their guests. You can tell they take the time to know their customers as they knew many of the other diners by name. They also had several reservations that night which being off season one would think were not necessary. It is however small seating wise, so it appears they are in high demand. After you give them a try you will know why.
We were warmly greeted and shown to our table. The atmosphere is cafe like making this a casual dining restaurant, but the food is anything but casual. Each month they feature a different region of Italy on their chef’s menu. We started with the Minestra Maritata ($5.99) – Italian wedding soup, vegetable broth, meatballs, and escarole. This was different than you may be used to as it did not have the orzo pasta and was made with escarole. This was a bowl of flavors just as it should be. The escarole was perfect and the little meatballs, which were not so little, were bursting with flavor.
For our Primi we chose the Ravioli Ricotta e Spinaci – Stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach, tomato sauce ($16.99) and the Ravioli ai Funghi Noci e Mascarpone (17.99) – Stuffed Ravioli with mushrooms, walnuts, mascarpone cheese, balsamic reduction, and Brandy cream sauce. My dining companion wanted hers (spinach) with the piccata sauce instead of the tomato sauce and they were able to accommodate her. Both dishes were outstanding as they are fresh and made to order. I so wanted to lick my plate as the brandy cream sauce was that good. The flavor profiles he uses are more authentic Italian than they are Italian American.
For our Dolci we had the Sfogliatella ($3.99). This is traditionally a breakfast pastry but here in the States we eat them anytime. They were served warm as in fresh out of the oven warm. This is the best way to eat them and with coffee of course. It was a perfect ending to a perfect meal.
Cafe Italia has the perfect mix of great food and great service that every restaurant strives for. What makes this such a great place is Chef Mike Romano being a culinary trained chef from Naples, Italy. His love of food and wanting to please his customers shows in every aspect of this restaurant.
If you want to know more about them visit their website at Café Italia . They are located at 20351 Summerlin Rd #117, Fort Myers, FL 33908.
Overall Rating: Outstanding