Buon Appetito! Metro Detroit’s Finest Italian Cuisine

By: Toni Cunningham | August 2, 2013
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Italian is my favorite cuisine, and, like Garfield, I could probably eat lasagna every day of my life. Whether you prefer angel hair or penne, we can all agree on one thing—pasta is best when it’s authentic.

When the spaghetti and meatballs craving hits, head to a local, original Italian bistro to get your pasta fix. Luckily, none of the following require you to fly halfway across the world.

Roma Café, 3401 Riopelle, Detroit, has been cooking up genuine Italian dishes for hungry Detroiters for nearly 125 years. The recipes are created using fresh, hand picked ingredients from Eastern Market. I don’t know about you, but supporting local suppliers will allow me to enjoy my Spaghetti a la Roma, Gnocchi or Baked Cannelloni with more gusto.

Compari’s, 350 S. Main St., Plymouth, is a great place to carbo-load before a night out on the town. Whether you order the Lobster Ravioli, Capellini Amore, or my personal favorite, the Sauteed Penne Chicken, you’ll be eating nothing but authentic Italian flavors. Keep in mind, it gets packed on weekends and they only take reservations for large parties, so plan accordingly.


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Paesano, 3411 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, features an eclectic menu with the usual Italian staples that change seasonally. Right now, try out the Spaghetti with Ahi Tuna Bites, Lemon & Arugula, Garden Zucchini Pasta or Crispy Pancetta & Sweet Pea Cannelloni. The restaurant also has gluten-free menu items, including Fettuccine alla Bolognese and Rigatoni with Country Greens, Sausage & Hot Peppers.

D’Amato’s, 222 Sherman Dr., Royal Oak, is more contemporary than rustic, and the menu includes vegetarian and gluten-free pastas. The restaurant’s Italian staples include D’Amato’s classic Cavatappi, Linguine with Clams and Angel Hair Pasta and Meatballs. Each pasta dish is served with a cup of minestrone soup or house salad. Keep in mind, they are closed on Mondays.

Giovanni’s Ristorante, 330 S. Oakwood Blvd., Detroit, is known for its house specialties, including Hand-rolled Spinach Gnocchi, Lasagna and Capelletti. The restaurant’s daily specialties are made with only the freshest locally grown ingredients. All of the pasta is made in house, and you can customize your own dish by choosing from four different varieties of noodles and just as many sauces.

Don’t forget to round out your pasta feast with a piece of tiramisu for dessert. Buon appetito!