Monday, March 9, 2009

Cafe Firenze

Cafe Firenze
(In the Mission Bell Plaza)
563 W Los Angeles Ave
Moorpark, CA 93021
(805) 532-0048

Kat and I got my Mom a gift card to Cafe Firenze for Christmas since she's a fan of the show Top Chef, and the restaurant is owned by Fabio, who came in 4th place on the most recent season. Fabio instantly became our favorite contestant on the show because he was a smartass and had a lot of personality. He had quite a few quotable lines on the show as he became our favorite. My Mom decided to use the gift card this past weekend and invited me to go with her for dinner. Yippee!

Once you're inside (or near) the restaurant, it thankfully doesn't feel like you're in Moorpark. I'm quite surprised they put someplace this nice in a strip mall near a Big Lots and El Pollo Loco, but that's also kind of cool, too. I've never been to any of the other Top Chefs' restaurants but I imagine most, if not all, of them are from big cities and trendy areas. One thing that annoyed me about the booth we sat at is the pillows on the seat. There were 3 pillows on each side, which we had to move out of the way. It's a nice decoration when you're looking at an empty table but really, they just get in the way when you're trying to sit comfortably.

The interior of the restaurant is really nice, although it's a little on the dark side. They have seating right in front of the open kitchen so you can watch the chefs cook if you want. Fabio was indeed there, so even if I wanted to harass him for a photograph, he was kinda busy throwing down braised rabbit and gnocchi. They have traditional Italian faire on the menu - pastas, pizzas, steaks, salads, etc. My Mom and I each have our favorite dishes, which are nowhere near exciting or adventurous - spaghetti and lasagna. I'm guessing Fabio might get bored cooking those, but both of them were absolutely delicious. I may even dare to say it's the best lasagna I've ever had.

Prices are average - a meal for two will probably run you in the neighborhood of $40, including tax and tip. I've read some bad reviews with regards to their service, but we didn't have any problems. But maybe that's because we were there early at 5PM to avoid the dinner crowd. At any rate, I really liked the food and the atmosphere and want to take Kat there when she comes back home!


adriana said...

I tried them out years ago when they first opened, and I still remember the gnocchi. I need to drag Sean back there sometime soon!

Fabulously Broke said...

Jealousy, all over my face.

I'd love to go eat authentic Italian. Too bad I'm all the way in Canada.