Owned by the same family that operated the original Spaghetteria on the north side of Palm Springs for more than 20 years, eating at Spaghetteria is like eating in your Italian mother’s home.
Warmly greeted at the door, the restaurant is filled with Florentine touches of the owner’s homeland, with a large painting of Florence that dominates the wall above the kitchen.
Starting out with a nice glass of San Giovese ($5.95), we shared a large plate of Caprese with mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and artichoke hearts. ($11.95) The cheese was fresh and full of flavor while the artichokes added a nice touch. My only regret was that the tomatoes weren’t ripe and tasteless.
Offering an abundance of pasta, pizzas and sandwiches, the food here is presented straightforward without any fancy presentation. This showed when I opted for the Spaghetti Alla Carbanara ($16.95) that was served like a bowl of pasta should be; with great flavor, but no fuss. Often heavy, this carbanara had a creamy egg and Parmesan cheese sauce with just a hint of bacon, and hit just the right level of creaminess without being heavy. A favorite of mine, but something I would never get in my own kitchen.
My partner opted for the Eggplant alla Parmigiana ($13.95) that arrive nicely baked with a hint of tomato sauce and lots of melted mozzarella. It was perfect. Softly breaded, light and fluffy, with none of the oiliness often found in this dish; the eggplant melted in your mouth, bringing out the flavor of the eggplant. Truly one of the best I’ve tasted since it wasn’t smothered in tomato sauce that can often make eggplant Parmesan soggy.
Although garlic bread ($3.95) is extra, each entrée came with a side salad of fresh greens dressed lightly with a light Italian dressing. This was a nice addition from the usual iceberg lettuce one normally gets as a side.
I finished off my dinner with a traditional luscious Torta della Nona (Grandmother’s Cake) ($5.95) filled with wonderful pastry cream with a hint of almond. The crust was nice and buttery, and the slices of almonds and pine nuts dusted with powdered sugar added just enough crunch and sweetness.
Unfortunately my partner’s Limocello Truffle ($5.95) didn’t quite live up to its build up of ‘Lemon semifredo ice cream with a liquid limoncello core coated with crushed meringue.’ A ‘bindi fantasia del dessert’ it may have been frozen a bit too long; so stick with the fresh pastries.
Open for lunch and dinner, Spaghetteria offers authentic northern Italian cuisine just south of downtown Palm Springs in the Sun Center. And as the owner said, “It is from Florence with Love.” And you can feel and taste that. Ma Mia!