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Italian eateries that will have you proclaiming molto bene

click to enlarge An order of Sardinia Old Fashioned spaghetti is heaped on a plate at Luigi's. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • An order of Sardinia Old Fashioned spaghetti is heaped on a plate at Luigi's.

Angelo's Ristorante Located just off Coeur d'Alene's main drag, Angelo's is a local secret, with its front entrance and outdoor seating secluded behind an enclosure. Once inside, you can enjoy fine Italian food, including an extensive offering of pasta as well as steak and seafood. We're also suckers for good cioppino. 846 N. Fourth St., Coeur d'Alene • Idaho • 208-765-2850

Europa Restaurant & Bakery A couple of years ago, Europa changed hands and tweaked their name — officially Europa Restaurant & Bakery. The menu still features all of the classic Italian dishes to accommodate hungry customers, as well as the growing number of events they host in their back room. Options are extensive at Europa, but in this instance, quantity does not compromise quality. 125 S. Wall St., Spokane • Wash. • 455-4051

Ferrante's Marketplace Café Nearly everything is made in-house, including their delectable salad dressing, and they've expanded from pizza to include pastas, panini, calzones and other dishes, like the super-popular five-layer baked lasagna. Ferrante's also serves wine and offers several beer taps. 4516 S. Regal St., Spokane • Wash. • 443-6304

Ferraro's Homemade Italian Owner and chef Pat Ferraro, who originally hails from Casole Bruzio, Italy, has created a winning menu of authentic Italian favorites at reasonable prices. It's hard to say no to their Eggplant Parmigiana or Chicken Marsala.  11204 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley • Wash. • 928-2303 | 3022 N. Division St., Spokane • Wash. • 325-7443

Italia Trattoria Not surprisingly, when the Wall Street Journal reported on Spokane's food scene, it was sure to mention Italia Trattoria ("Spokanites love the changing menu of house-made pastas," the paper declared). With a focus on natural and sustainable ingredients, chef Anna Vogel's menu features handmade pastas, pork prime rib chop and seasonal vegetables spiced and grilled to perfection.  144 S. Cannon St., Spokane • Wash. • 459-6000

Italian Kitchen A cozy place with etched glass, heavy draperies and dark wood, the restaurant sets the perfect mood for a leisurely dinner of traditional Italian-American favorites and wine. Consider the gnocchi, lasagna and ravioli, plus steaks, chicken and seafood. We've also been known to hide away in the old-wood bar next door. 113 N. Bernard St., Spokane • Wash. • 363-1210

Luigi's Italian Restaurant With recipes published in Gourmet and Bon Appétit, it would seem that Luigi's food speaks for this downtown Italian staple. Opened in its current location in 2000, Luigi's is a pillar of consistency, voted Best Italian by Inlander voters for more than 10 years. Dishes like the spicy chicken Calabria are customer favorites, complemented by a rotating week-to-week lineup of appetizer and entrée specials.  245 W. Main Ave., Spokane • Wash. • 624-5226

Mamma Mia's The recipes at Mamma Mia's have been passed down from generation to generation. And just like his "Nonnie" used to do it, owner and chef Jerry Amicerella starts by making everything from scratch — the noodles, the raviolio (oh, the ravioli!), even the dinner rolls. While the recipes came from the old world, the décor is modern and stylish, and the chicken marsala is decadent.  420 W. Francis Ave., Spokane • Wash. • 467-7786

Piccolo Honing in on traditional Italian cooking skills, the crew at Piccolo hopes to provide an authentic experience with their pies, cooked in the Neapolitan style. Try the classic Margherita or a pesto-based Ortaggio for a little bite of Italy. Sticking with tradition, you can plan on pairing your pizza with a selection of Italian (and some Washington) wines. 21718 E. Mission, Liberty Lake • 926-5900

Tito's Italian Grill At Tito's Italian Grill, now overseen by a new general manager, the menu also has taken on a new look and taste. "We want to infuse a bit of Mediterranean flair into Tito's," says Chef Tim Heinig. "We still want to have the great dishes that our guests enjoy, with fresh, popping flavors like the chicken piccata and heartwarming lasagna, but we feel there is room to introduce some additional flavors from that region of the world." 210 Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene • Idaho • 208-667-2782

Tomato Street Italian food lovers find a welcoming home at Tomato Street, with a comprehensive menu including pizza, pasta, calzones and salads. Pizzas are baked "Old World Style" in a wood-fired brick oven, and toppings offered include basic ingredients, though for adventurous eaters, there are "New World Tradition" toppings like smoked Gouda and balsamic-infused tomatoes. As per Italian family tradition, no one is left out: Gluten-free pastas and other dishes are available.  221 W. Appleway Ave., Coeur d'Alene • Idaho • 208-667-5000 | 6220 N. Division St., Spokane • Wash. • 484-4500 | Opening in River Park Square in the fall

Uva Italian Previously located on Fourth Street, the family-owned restaurant Uva Trattoria recently moved into a downtown location, better suited for fine dining and walk-ins. At the new location, they've added specials like chicken saltimbocca and baked penne in Gorgonzola cream sauce with spinach, tomatoes and chicken. Lighter fare includes caprese salad and bruschetta.  309 E. Lakeside Ave., Coeur d'Alene • Idaho • 208-930-0573

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