Licari’s Sicilian Pizza Kitchen, 2896 Knapp St - 10/25/12
Licari’s was recommended by a friend (thanks, Kendra) and it was a great find. You can’t see it from the road and there is no signage on Knapp. So look for the Crushed Grape and turn in. The restaurant is attached to the backside of Crushed Grape and is near the Celebration Cinema complex for you movie goers.
The narrow space is small with high tops and booths along the windows, and a few tables and the bar fill in the rest of the area. The outdoor patio looks like a pleasant place to be in nice weather.
The menu is also small but interesting. Five antipasti selections, 5 insalate, 8 pannettis, 6 pasta, and pizza. Opened since April 2012, the restaurant is gathering a well-deserved following. It has a cool vibe to it and the service was great. Our server took our order on her iPhone and we started with her recommendation, Arancini - crispy rice balls filled with meat sauce and mozzarella. We found them beautifully presented but overly deep fried.
From the very appetizing selections, we chose the Pasta a la Chef: some family secrets tossed with Gemelli pasta and tomato cream sauce, peas, carrots, and ham. Although we hate secrets, it was a very finely prepared al dente pasta dish.
Linguini con salsiccia e ricotta was our second dish, which consisted of fresh house made sausage, creamy ricotta, and fresh tomato sauce over linguini. Again, the pasta was exquisitely prepared and the combination was delicious.
In order to get garlic bread with your dish, you need to pony up $2.00 more for four slices, but it is worth it. Forget the butter/garlic drenched slices of bread you receive elsewhere. This bread will arrive with a much lighter touch of garlic and butter and accompanied by their house-made tomato sauce.
Left-over boxes are earth-friendly, there is just one large screen TV playing, and the pop-soundtrack music playing was not overly obtrusive. They should lose the Bobby Flay picture and Food Network references, however; we don’t care about Bobby Flay. Licari’s is not a fine dining experience like you will receive at Amore Trattoria Italiana but it can stand on its own based on the food and the casual atmosphere. Read the restaurant background on their website where you can also view the menu. We’ll definitely be back. http://www.licarispizzakitchen.com/