This is a blog featuring my personal stories of food, gardening, yachting, photography, travel and life.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

D'anna's Cafe Italiano

D'Anna's Cafe Italiano consistently serves the best Italian food in Bellingham. I know, I know, what about Guiseppe's? A few years ago I would have agreed with you that Guiseppe's was number one. Then Guiseppe moved into his new, bigger, fancier digs and it just hasn't been the same since. The service is slow and inconsistent and, even more importantly, the food which was once so wonderful, has become hit and miss.

Then there is D'Anna's. A long time favorite with locals, D'Anna's features homemade pastas, sauces and desserts along with a complete bar. No, the ambiance may not be quite as fancy as Guiseppe's but the rustic look--brick walls, posters of the Italian countryside and an open kitchen design give it a more informal, friendlier feel. The servers are always attentive and friendly and the food is delicious--consistently so.

We visited D'Anna's for Leslie's birthday dinner the other night. We ordered a starter of tapanade served with creme fraiche, fresh greens and grilled crostini. Our dinner main came with a fresh green salad of micro greens dressed lightly with an Italian vinaigrette and a large slice of their broiled Sicilian bread topped with herbs and cheeses. We each ordered a different pasta for our main. I ordered my favorite spaghetti and meatballs. Yeah, it is sort of like ordering vanilla ice creme when there are so many other flavors to explore, but I have always judged an Italian restaurant's quality based on its ability to make this classic dish shine and D'Anna's shines deliciously. Leslie ordered the little pillows of potato gnocchi. She asked for an received a combination of the traditional gnocchi along with D'Anna's special spinach gnocchi all tossed with olive oil and fresh tomatoes.

She also ordered a nice glass of white wine from the extensive and affordable wine list and I had my usual iced tea with lemon which was kept full throughout the meal along with our water glasses (another marker, in my opinion, of an excellent restaurant).

For dessert we ordered a delicious peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake with a fabulous crunchy crust embedded with crushed peanuts.

D'Anna's is a wonderful place for a family celebration or a special occasion. You will be treated like family and the food will delight you. The extensive menu offerings have something for everyone so bring your family to D'Anna's and experience Italian food the way you remember it!