Saturday, September 12, 2009



Ca’ Del Sole has long been one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants. Located in a little Mediterranean-style building with washed ‘mustard’ colored stucco walls and pots of geraniums on the outside walls, this is an Italian restaurant with a Tuscan flare. The main dining rooms are chic and inviting with displayed Italian pottery, beautiful framed landscapes and comfortable booths with crisp linen. The separate bar/cocktail lounge is a cozy place to meet friends for a drink and hang out long past ‘dinner time’ while snacking on such delights as ahi tuna tartare or fried calamari, shrimp, zucchini, vegetable tortelli or beef carpaccio with shaved parmesan and capers or maybe just sipping a perfect vodka martini or sharing a bottle of Barolo.

I love the food here. A few favorites are the mezzelune pumpkin ravioli, with butter, sage and parmesan cheese. It’s a dish I actually crave. The pasticcio chicken lasagna, béchamel, light tomato sauce with mushroom and cheese crust is a dish about which poets could write sonnets. And for those summer nights when you want something light there’s the Milanese breaded chicken breast with baby arugula (my favorite ‘green’) onions and tomatoes.

But I’m writing about this favorite restaurant not because of its lovely inviting décor or my usual favorite dishes. I’m here to tell you about it’s recently redecorated walled-in garden patio with it’s pretty potted plants and large trees brimming with clusters of little white lights bunched together to look like twinkling grapes dripping from the branches. Along the garden wall the tables have been encased in romantic cabanas with a rich salmon-colored fabric outlining the tent and white sheers draped and knotted for a dramatic accent. In the cocktail area of the patio, the wall has new elegant pillowed chaises which give new meaning to the definition of cocktail lounge.

Recently Richard and I were there for lunch. While sitting in a garden cabana which blocked the sun yet allowed the gentle breeze to filter through, we were transported to a charming villa patio in Tuscany. I had one of the piadina grigliata, a thin crust bread topped with prosciutto di parma, burrata (a king among cheeses) and arugula (I love that arugula!). Delizioso! Other piadina grigliata (a sort of pizza) toppings are cured salmon with goat cheese and watercress; seared ahi tuna, caramelized onion, black olives, capers and curly endive; and roasted wild mushrooms with arugula. Richard had the scaloppini pollo, a sauteed chicken scaloppini with fresh tomatoes, basil, watercress and Belgian endive. I love this chicken dish so much that my husband learned to make it for me so I could have it at home whenever I want.

So, if you’re in the neighborhood and want some truly good Italian food AND charming ambience, I highly recommend Ca’ Del Sole.

4100 Cahuenga Blvd.
Toluca Lake CA 91602

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