Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Il Paradiso Cafe - dj

520 West State Road 436
Suite 1112
Altamonte Springs, Fl 32714
Phone - 407.262.9000
Fax - 407.331.9001

“Where Naples Meets New York in Florida”


I discovered Il Paradiso Café while driving east on 436 in Altamonte Springs one day last week. I was at the stop light at Montgomery and 436 and looked over in the Ashby Square Mall shopping area and noticed what seemed like a new Italian Restaurant in the location where an Italian deli use to be. I said to my self that I would have to stop in. The following week we made a visit.

When we arrived at the restaurant we looked over the menu posted at the door. It seemed like an inviting place. When we walked in we were warmly greeted by the hostess. She showed us to our seats. The waitress soon arrived. Then we were greeted by Sal the chief, he told us all about his special for the night. Sal was born Salvatore Cristiano in Naples, Italy. He seemed very proud of his restaurant as well he should we would soon find out.

I opted for the Manicotti which arrived with bread and a salad with the house dressing. My wife did not see exactly what she wanted on the menu so we called Sal over and he was glad to make any thing she wanted. She had vegetarian pasta that included sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli in an olive oil sauce on penne pasta.

We heard singing in the kitchen as our dishes were being prepared. It reminded us of a trip to Venice where we also heard singing in the kitchen.

The salad arrived and the balsamic vinaigrette (Paradisco vinaigrette) dressing was to die for. As we were finishing up our salad I noticed Sal peering over at us from the kitchen to see if we were ready for our main course.

Our Pasta dishes arrive shortly. Mine was very good. I always have manicotti my first trip to a new Italian restaurant because I have found if they can make the cheese filling firm but moist they can make any other Italian dish. This was perfect. My wife’s pasta dish was also very good with just enough garlic and sweet sun dried tomatoes.

I have not yet decided what I’ll have on my next visit but I took the take out menu so I could study it in depth.

After our meal Sal came over to make sure everything was to our satisfaction. It was! This is definitely my new favorite Italian restaurant.

Rating ****
Service: ****
Value: ****