Cafe Piccolo: Romance On Broadway
2010-05-10 · By Chandra Clewley
Looking for good Italian food in Long Beach always leads to a standoff for me. There are just so many Italian restaurants to choose from, depending on what you are looking for. Did we have our heart set on Northern, Southern, High End, Casual, or just a good ambience? In the end, we decided on Café Piccolo, somewhere I had wanted to go since I first drove by the bright red and blue sign on the front of the building.
When you first enter the restaurant you are struck by the great ambience. The inside area and the outside area are connected to each other and there are streams of little orange lights that set a beautiful glow over everyone. It would be a lovely place to eat a romantic dinner or have a few friends for a quiet night of catching up. We were seated next to the fire pit which was perfect because it was a little bit cold that night. The wait staff is all very tenured, and greets with a smile and some great suggestions for food.
We ordered a glass of the Fontana Candida Pinto Grigio and the La Crema Pinot Noir. When it was served, your server will bring the glasses and the bottles out to show what bottle they are pouring from.
While still deciding, we were presented with hot, freshly baked bread which was a lovely touch. For an appetizer, we ordered the Bruschetta Alla Prosciutto with Japanese Eggplant, Red Onion, Prosciutto, Smoked Mozzarella and Fresh Basil. I was surprised by this dish, the bruschetta bread was closer to a pizza crust and the eggplant added something that I had not had in bruschetta before.
For dinner, after speaking with the table next to us that drives up from Orange County specifically for this Café Piccolo dish, we decided to split the Steamed Clams in a White Wine Caper Sauce and the Grilled Salmon Fillet served with Sundried Tomato and Leeks in a Lime Ginger Cream Sauce and topped with Lemon Zest. The clams were rich and creamy with a lovely garlic white wine flavor. They were lying on a bed of linguini which had soaked up the sauce wonderfully. The salmon was cooked perfectly with a crunchy outer layer and the lime ginger sauce went well with the fish.
Unfortunately we were too full to order dessert, which disappointed both of us to no end. Depending on the amount of food you typically eat, I would suggest splitting a few different dishes to try all of the wonderful things on the menu. There are just so many more dishes that I am looking forward to trying at Café Piccolo.
All in all, Café Piccolo was a wonderful experience that so many Long Beach locals come back repeatedly for.
Café Piccolo is located at 3222 Broadway in Long Beach. Call for more information at (562) 438-1316 or visit www.cafepiccolo.com.