Overview: _ takes its name from the Italian phrase for “beautiful evening,” which aptly captures the welcoming atmosphere at this Old Town establishment, which the owners, who are originally from Naples, have been operating for six years. Homemade pastas, tasty Italian fare and a fine selection of wines tempt the palate and the tiramisu is not to be missed.
Décor: The main dining room features golden walls, blond and dark woods and Murano lighting fixtures. The covered back patio, which is surrounded by plants and situated near a soothing outdoor fountain, can also be enclosed and heated for comfort during cooler weather. There is also sidewalk seating beneath green umbrellas in front of the restaurant.
Drinks: Beverages include Italian sodas, sparkling water, beer and a large selection of red and white wines from Italy and California ($20-$120/bottle), including Chianti, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling Wine and Champagne.
Appetizers: Antipasti (Appetizers) range from $11.95-$14.50. Prosciutto e Burrata (Prosciutto di Parma and fresh mozzarella filled with buttery cream) is a favorite. They also offer Calamari Fritti (baby squid, lightly floured and fried and served with marinara sauce and basil aioli), Antipasto Della Casa (freshly marinated vegetables and mozzarella), Calamari Luciana (baby squid, sautéed in tomato sauce with mushrooms and onions), Cozze e Vongole (mussels and clams sautéed with garlic, white wine, red chili flakes and tomatoes), Fritto Misto (Fried calamari, shrimp, zucchini and artichokes served with marinara sauce and basil aioli) and Melenzane a Funghetto (Eggplant with fresh tomatoes, olive oil and garlic topped with fresh mozzarella).
Entrees: Entrees range from $12.95-$22.50 and Lasagna di Carne, Crespelle alla Fiorentina (crepes filled with ricotta and spinach baked in cream and tomato sauce) and Fettuccine Bella Sera (Fettucine with shrimp, mussels, zucchini and chopped tomatoes) are some of the most popular dishes. Other pasta entrees include Linguini alle Vongole (Linguini with fresh manila clams in white wine or tomato sauce), Ravioli Della Casa (ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach in a light tomato and basil sauce), Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (potato dumplings with tomato sauce, basil and fresh mozzarella), Spaghetti with Meatballs, Penne alla Vodka, Fettuccine Bolognese, Penne Siciliana (with eggplant, tomato sauce and basil topped with fresh melted mozzarella) and Risotto di Mare (Arborio rice with clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari in a light tomato sauce).
Chicken, Meat and Seafood entrees include Pollo Marsala (chicken with marsala wine and mushrooms), Pollo alla Valdostana (chicken stuffed with fontina cheese and prosciutto in mushroom and wine sauce), Pollo Arrosto (a half marinated and roasted free range chicken with mushroom sauce), Pollo Piccata (chicken sautéed with lemon, capers and butter), Pollo alla Capri (a half chicken marinated in white wine, garlic and fresh herbs), Salsiccia con Polenta (Italian mild sausage served with polenta topped with onion and mushroom sauce), Vitello a Piacere (veal medallions prepared to your request), Pesce San Dabs (fish sautéed with lemon, butter and capers), Cacciucco alla Livornese (shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, scallops, lobster tail and fresh fish in a lightly spiced broth), Gamberi alla Griglia (grilled and spiced marinated prawns) and Pesce Del Giorno (fresh fish of the day).
They also serve pizza ($13.50-$15.50) including Margherita (Mozzarella, tomato sauce and fresh basil), Vegetariana (Pesto sauce with fresh seasonal vegetables), Salsiccia (Italian mild sausage, mozzarella and tomato sauce), Quattro Stagioni (mushrooms, olives, ham, artichokes, mozzarella and tomato sauce) and Calzone alla Napoletana (ham, mushrooms, salami, ricotta, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese).
Soup and Salad: Zuppe e Insalate, ranging from $6.50-$10.50, includes Insalata di Cesare (classic Caesar salad), Insalata Verde (mixed baby greens, tomatoes, fennel, garlic, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil), Insalata Di Spinachi Al Caldo (spinach salad with aged ricotta, warm pancetta and fried onions), Insalata Mista (mixed organic greens with cucumbers, tomatoes and radish in balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil), Pasta e Fagioli alla Napoletana (classic Neapolitan soup of pasta and cannellini beans), Zuppa Del Giorno (homemade Soup of the Day) and Caprese (Buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and extra virgin olive oil).
Lunch: Appetizers range from $11-$13.50 and include Prosciutto e Burrata, Antipasto Della Casa, Calamari Fritti, Calamari Luciana and Scampi Alla Diavola. Soup includes Pasta e Fagioli Alla Napoletana and Soup of the Day. Salads ($6.50-$13.50) include Caeser, which can also come with chicken or shrimp, Insalata Verde, Insalata Mista, Insalata Di Spinachi Al Caldo, Caprese, Insalata Alla Pera (mixed greens, pears, gorgonzola and candied walnuts in a citrus dressing), Bella Sera Salad (mixed greens, fresh seasonal fruit, almonds, feta cheese in a passion fruit dressing) and Salmon Salad (mixed greens, lemon juice, garlic and extra virgin olive oil with grilled salmon). Pizzas include Margherita, Vegetariana, Salsiccia, Quattro Stagioni, Calabrese and Calzone alla Napoletana.
Panini (Sandwiches) range from $10.95-$13.50, served on flat bread and accompanied by greens. These include Emiliana (Prosciutto di Parma, mozzarella and fresh basil), Vegetariano (Grilled zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, mozzarella and spinach), Fiorentina (Pounded chicken breast, spinach, mozzarella and chopped tomatoes), Prosciutto Cotto Caldo (Baked smoked ham, melted mozzarella and sliced tomatoes), Napoletano (Roasted bell peppers and homemade meatballs in tomato sauce) and Caprese (Sliced tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil).
Entrees ($12.50-$16.95) include Linguini alle Vongole, Ravioli Della Casa, Linguini Romana, Spaghetti alla Checca (Sun ripened cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil),Linguini Capesante (Linguine pasta with scallops and diced tomatoes in pesto sauce), Crespelle alla Fiorentina, Farfalle al Salmone (Bowtie pasta with fresh salmon, chopped tomatoes, basil and a touch of cream), Spaghetti with Meatballs, Penne Arrabbiata, Lasagna di Carne, Fettuccine Bolognese, Gnocchi alla Sorrentina, Fettuccine Bella Sera, Pollo Marsala, Pollo alla Valdostana, Pollo Arrosto, Pollo Piccata, Pesce San Dabs, Salmone al Guazzetto (Salmon with light garlic, diced potatoes and sun ripened cherry tomatoes in a spiced broth) and Fresh fish of the day.
Desserts: Dolci Classici (Desserts) are $5.75-$7.50, including Classic Tiramisu(ladyfinger cookies dipped in espresso and layered with mascarpone cheese and cocoa powder), Crème Brulee Trio (a trio of flavors: vanilla, berry and chocolate), Zuccotto (chocolate, vanilla, espresso bean with roasted almonds), Sicilian Cannoli (filling of ricotta, candied fruit and orange zest), Lemon Tart, Chocolate Truffle Mousse, Italian Cheesecake Bambino (Ricotta cheesecake with orange zest), Chocolate Gelato, Hazelnut Gelato, Vanilla Bean Gelato, Lemon Sorbet, Mixed Berry Sorbet, Peach Sorbet, Spumoni Cake (rich Neapolitan gelato topped with amarena cherries), Limoncello Parfait Flute (lemon gelato with a Limoncello swirl), Coppa Spagnola (vanilla and amarena cherry in a delicious gelato swirl) Coppa Caffe (latte gelato with a coffee and cocoa swirl), Affogato (vanilla bean gelato topped with a shot of espresso), and Chocolate Tartufo (Chocolate gelato with a zabaglione center, covered with caramelized hazelnuts and cocoa powder).
Signature Dishes: Lasagna di Carne, Crespelle alla Fiorentina, Fettuccine Bella Sera
Service: A host will seat you. Reservations recommended on the weekends, especially for larger parties.
Chef: Maria Ulloa-Severino
420 S Myrtle Ave
Monrovia , CA 91016