Last week we had family visiting from out of town and decided to go to the Italian Kitchen on Alberni for dinner. When it is just the two of us we tend not to make a reservation anywhere but rather have a cocktail at the bar while we wait. But, this time, since we had out-of-town guests we did make a reservation, and while the hostess did acknowledge that our table was in fact booked for 7:30 we still did not get seated until 7:45.

Despite this poor start to the evening things quickly got better. Our server was friendly and efficient and we soon had cocktails and complimentary Kobe meatballs on the table. The meatballs were fabulous (even for Tara who almost never eats beef) and the tomatoes in the Caprese salad were extremely fresh and equally delicious.

For our main course we all decided to try the pasta platter. It came served on two platters-for-two placed between us with tongs for sharing. The options included penne pomodoro, spaghetti with truffle oil and riccota cheese, squash ravioli in pesto sauce, egg noodles with lamb sausage and cabbage and more Kobe meatballs. The flavor of the spaghetti was amazing and was the favorite for three of us while mom enjoyed the squash ravioli the most, but all were very good. The portion was large and reasonably priced at $18 per person, but we would recommend ordering the platter for three, instead of four, especially if you have appetizers, as we had a good amount left over. While there was not a kid’s menu available, our nine year-old niece asked for spaghetti with ‘nothing but butter’ and it was delivered promptly and in a suitable kid’s size.

It is important to point out that the main floor dining room is very loud making it difficult to hold a conversation without yelling but if you get a view of the kitchen, the noise is worth it. The upstairs dining room is better for those looking for a somewhat quieter dinner. The wine list was about average in total size but includes a small selection from many countries at a variety of price points. All in all, we had a fun night with our family and enjoyed the great food. We will go back again soon.

Food – GREAT, Service – GOOD, Atmosphere – GOOD

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