Saturday, April 13, 2019

Mike Aliotta's Florence Street Italian Restaurant

Real name of this excellent Italian restaurant is:  Alliota's Via Firenz, located at 4485 Torrance (corner with Anza, Torrance.)  310-371-9555

Chef Mike Aliotta opened it in 1999 and it has clearly flourished ever since.  "Best Italian Restaurant" several times and so forth.   They are open for lunch and dinner.

Richie wanted a celebratory dinner for my recent and surprising brush with minor fame.  I am always open to "eating out."

Italian meals - if eaten in the classic  food order - salty snacks, salad, then pasta, then main course and if you're still upright in your chair and not face down in the entrée, dessert should take what?  Four hours?  We didn't want to miss "Jeopardy" and another appearance of the professional sports gambler who is clearly going for $1 million in prize money.  His instant replies - and the right ones - amazes me.  he is one smart dude.

So we went straight to an entrée each and the wine list.  A split of sparkling prosecco for me; a glass of red for him.  The first thing that came to the table was a basket of warm, sliced Italian baguette and little puffy rolls with the saucer for mixing balsamic vinegar and olive oil together in which to dip pieces of the lovely bread.

I ordered Don Mike's Scampi which is seven ginormous shrimp, wrapped in prosciutto with a Sambuca Romano cream sauce.  $30 for the seven big shrimp.  It comes on a bed of creamed spinach which I loathe so I asked if it might be possible to have angel hair instead? and our server murmured reassurances that, of course!  He was very affable, an older man of great charm and warmth.

Richie ordered the Vitello Saltimbocca,  veal scaloppini topped with prosciutto and mozzarella in a sage wine sauce.  $29.  He liked it so well that he departed from tradition (eat half; take home the other) and ate the whole thing.  Last night he had to look enviously at my leftover shrimp (4 - I said they were big) and the rest of my pasta.

Two glasses of red for him; two splits for me and the tab came to 117.16 before a $25 tip.

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