New owners took over about three months ago and I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all, we’ve been through an ownership change before, and that didn’t work out so well!
I am pleased to say that the new owners, Salvatore and Alessandra Attanasio, along with Alessandra’s father, Pietro Forte, are an absolute delight, and the food was amazing.
It is a complete family affair. All three family members were whisking around, making sure service was superb and finding out what the guests liked. Salvatore was quite charming, educating me on the day’s specials with his lilting Italian accent.
I had the Porcini Risotto and I was blown away. Creamy and rich, but not too rich- infused with deep mushroom flavor and filled with lots of large, flavorful mushroom pieces. It had that perfect whiff of lemon that cut through the richness like a crisp spring breeze. It was like a whole plate of love. Pietro said this dish was a special creation- but I confess that I am not sure if the ingredients were from his home region of Napoli or if it was special for some technique. Either way it was divine.
We had a sublime desert, but I have no idea what it was called. It was sort of a cheesecake-y tart-like creation. The texture was light and a little crumbly and the tast was slightly lemon with maybe a hint of rosewater. Pietro told me his wife makes all the deserts. “Family”, he says, “it is all in the family”. Oh, did I tell you that Pietro makes all of the bread? Lovely stuff, that bread.
Later, some old friends of mine came wandering in- this is their regular “after tennis” place to eat. The husband told me that Salvatore used to be at Celestino’s in Pasadena and that he (Salvatore) is the nephew of Antonietta, the beloved former owner of Cafe Sole. “It’s all in the family, no?”
Technically, Cafe Sole is in La Canada- but most of us consider this part of Montrose. No matter which way you look at it, we are twice blessed.