When we were in New York, Nick and I had a Valentine's Day tradition to go to one of my favorite Italian restaurants, Il Fresco. I mainly wanted to go because I liked the food and martinis, but we kept going back because the atmosphere of the restaurant was so warm and inviting (and they would always give me a long stem rose to boot). Their motto "our home is your home" really rings true. The restaurant itself is an old colonial house and is decorated to feel like you're sitting at someone's dining room table, regardless of the room you're in.
The restaurant is about 2 miles away from my parent's house, so I've been to Il Fresco a lot for different occasions. Obviously date nights, but also large family dinners, small family dinners, my parents hosted their anniversary party there one year. I've been here so many times I feel as if I've tasted half the menu. Calamari, crab cakes, eggplant, pasta 1,000 different ways, chicken, steak, fish. You name it. Everything was savory and delicious. Not too heavy, but still filling. Just the way good Italian food should taste.
The menu is traditional, although not the usual spaghetti with meatballs, eggplant parmesean, etc. This is not your cafeteria style Italian food (which I actually am sick of eating at restaurants. My aunt taught me how to cook Italian food, if I can make it at home, I do not want to eat it at your restaurant). This is Italian food with thought. You won't find trendy items on the main menu with the latest American flavor crazes, but you will find things like "Boneless chicken breast stuffed with spinach and prosciutto, dipped in egg and sautéed in olive oil and served with a marsala wine and mushroom sauce" or "Sweet Italian sausage, broccoli rapa and sundried tomato sautéed in garlic and olive oil." Again, traditional Italian food with more thought put into it.
And did I mention the martinis? The moment I turned 21 and could legally order them, my heart rejoiced. I do not like the taste of alcohol, but who doesn't like to feel euphorically happy once in awhile after you have a glass of something? Il Fresco has everything my girly palate desires. From fruity drinks like Lemon Drops and Bananatinis to chocolatey and creamy ones like the Milky Way and Tiramisu-tini. One time I even convinced my mom to order one with me. Needless to say after our seconds we were giggling like crazy and my dad was pretty embarrassed by the two drunkies at the table with him.
Ok, but enough of talking about food, let me show you some pictures.
Drool. Why do I always write these food reviews around meal time?