Cafe di Scala focuses on food, wine and good company, whether it’s a romantic night out for two or a relaxing dinner with friends and family. In the historic Sherman Hill neighborhood, Cafe di Scala takes its name from a village in southern Italy and infuses its Calabrese-style menu with traditional tastes. The award-winning wine list is 100 percent Italian (glasses run $11 to $14, bottles from $48 to $400); servers are happy to make spot-on recommendations.
The crostini rustica appetizer ($8) starts meals off right with roasted red pepper pesto, goat cheese, capers and a balsamic-drizzled side of baby spinach, but we preferred the outstanding Brussels sprouts ($9)—roasted, shaved and tossed with white truffle oil and Parmesan-style grana padano cheese. The featured chicken dish ($22) is an Italian take on cordon bleu, stuffed with cheese and wrapped in paper-thin prosciutto, and the cavatelli di lemmo ($18) features Graziano sausage, thick pasta and a rich red sauce. For dessert, the Italian wedding cake is a no-brainer; it's made from a secret family recipe by the owner’s mother.
Cafe di Scala is open Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.; reservations are strongly recommended.