One of my favorite Italian restaurants in Raleigh is Café Tiramisu. Located in the North Ridge shopping center off of Falls of the Neuse Rd., this small and cozy café has some of the best Northern Italian cuisine around. Chef Paul DeMartino opened Café Tiramisu in 1996, a few years after his first restaurant, Piccolo Mondo closed its doors. Those who loved Piccolo (myself included) were thrilled to see his new place.
Brad and I recently celebrated my birthday at Café Tiramisu. I started off with a glass of bubbly (Domaine Chandon brut – $8.50 for a split. It is the only “champagne” offered by the glass. It sufficed.) Brad had a glass BV Cabernet ($8.50). Warm bread was immediately brought out to the table, with olive oil and herbs to dip it in. Yum!
For an appetizer we ordered the stuffed clams (the photo below doesn’t do them justice.) These were wonderful! Stuffed with spinach, pancetta and seasoned breadcrumbs, they melted in your mouth. The clams were cooked perfectly – moist and not chewy at all ($8.00).
Brad got a Caesar salad ($7.00). I had a few bites and thought it was fresh and liked the dressing, taste-wise as well as amount-wise.
For dinner, Brad had the Pollo Ripieno ($17.00). This is a chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto, pepperoncinis and mozzarella in a tomato cream sauce, on top of a bed of pasta. He thought the chicken was nicely cooked and moist, and would definitely order it again.
I ordered the Osso Buco ($24.00), one of Café Tiramisu’s specialties. It is to die for – melt in your mouth delicious! The veal is fall-off-your-fork tender and perfectly seasoned. It is served with spinach fettucini that it quite good. The portion was huge – I could only eat half of it. The leftovers made a great meal the following day!
Brad ordered a 2008 Elizabeth Spenser Cabernet ($60.00). This is a great cab – rich but well-balanced with hints of black plums and cherries.
We were both stuffed, but since it was my birthday we decided to split a piece of tiramisu ($5.95). Ooooh, so good – what a great way to end the meal!
Some of my other Café Tiramisu favorites are veal parmigiana, veal saltimbocca and veal limone (Chef Paul knows his veal!) The pastas are wonderful as well – try the penne carbonara.
- Price: Not bad, especially when you consider the size of the portions.
- Service: 5.00 Excellent – Scott took wonderful care of us!
- Food: 5.00 Awesome as always!
- Recommend: Without a doubt – one of the best Italian restaurants in Raleigh!
- Kid friendly: Probably not, unless they are well-behaved and truly appreciate great food. Save this place for a date night!
1= hater, 2=poor, 3=adequate, 4=above average, 5=superb
Eat, drink and be merry!