Café Alfresco is technically not an Italian restaurant, so before diving into our Italian specialties, we should mention our menu offers many American-style favorites and globally inspired options also worth checking out.

Okay, now we can turn our focus back to our Italian Specialties. So, lets dig into some of our favorites

Parmigiana di Melanzane (Eggplant Parmesan)

What came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, the egg…plant, eggplant. Or as the Italian’s call it, melanzana. Although there are disputes about the regional origins of the dish (some say Sicily, some say Naples and some say Parma), all can agree that in recent history, Eggplant Parmesan has become a comfort food staple; not only across Italy, but globally!

The traditional recipe is pretty straight-forward; eggplant is fried then covered in tomato sauce and baked with parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

Cooking Tip: If you choose to make Eggplant Parmesan at home, we recommend you slice the eggplant, salt it, then lightly rinse the salt off and pat dry. This technique will help remove excess water from the eggplant before cooking.

At Café Alfresco, we’ve put our own Americanized spin on the recipe. Before we fry the eggplant, we dip it into a special parmesan-bread mixture, so when it’s done cooking it has a nice crispness to each bite.

Eggplant Parmesan


So, what about Chicken Parmesan?

Believe it or not, Chicken Parmesan is not a traditional Italian dish. It’s actually American! It is of course, inspired by the original eggplant recipe.

Where did the transition from eggplant to chicken parmesan come from? Well, a couple theories are linked back to the Italian immigrants of the early 20th century. At this time, eggplant was not readily available in the United States. So, it is believed, the lack of eggplant, married with the opportunity for Italian immigrants to afford poultry, led to the change up. And boom, Chicken Parmesan was born.

100 years later, it’s hard to imagine there was ever a world without Chicken Parmesan. In fact, our Chicken Parmesan is one of the most popular dishes on our menu at Café Alfresco and it’s easy to see why. Similar to our eggplant recipe, we dress the chicken breast in our parmesan-breading before it’s pan-fried. Then we cover the chicken in our homemade tomato sauce, top it with fresh mozzarella and bake it until it’s just right. “What is… just right,” you ask? When the cheese begins to bubble golden brown. Mmm, seriously, this dish is comfort food perfection!

Chicken Parm


Craving something a little lighter? Then it’s all about the Chicken Piccata

As much as we love our eggplant and chicken parmesan meals, sometimes you just want something a little lighter. Enter the Chicken Piccata, another delicious dish with Italian origins and an American twist!

The term piccata references the way the meat is prepared. Generally speaking, piccata represents the way the meat is sliced, coated and sautéed with a sauce.

Traditionally in Italy, the piccata method is used to prepare veal. Here in the United States, the dish is more commonly served with chicken. Again, since piccata references the way the meat is prepared, the only difference in the dish is what meat, or even fish, is used.

At Café Alfresco, our menu features a Chicken Piccata that is simply divine. Our chef lightly dredges chicken breast in flour, sautés it then finishes the dish with a classic lemon butter sauce with capers. For an added flavor boost, a bit of parmesan cheese goes into our sauce too.

Chicken Piccata


Wednesday Pasta Night

Hoping for even more pasta options? Well, my friend, you’re in luck. On Wednesdays, after 4 pm, we feature Pasta Night! Each week, our chef cooks up different Italian favorites that are not listed on our regular menu such as lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, seafood pasta, etc. Every week is different, so there is always something new to try. And best of all? Just like everything on our menu, our pasta specials are available for takeout. Making Wednesday night dinner easier than ever.