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Gambit's 2012 Winter Restaurant Guide: Italian 

A MANO 870 Tchoupitoulas St., 208-9280; www.amanonola.com Start with the affettati misti, which includes an array of house-cured meats with accompaniments including house-made pickles and mostarda. The slow-cooked rabbit comes with oil-cured olives and roasted garlic. Reservations recommended. Lunch Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

ADOLFO'S 611 Frenchmen St., 948-3800 Above the Apple Barrel bar, Adolfo's is an intimate restaurant serving a wide variety of seafood. Flounder is covered in creamy Ocean sauce with crabmeat, shrimp and capers. Veal also is available topped with Ocean sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner daily. Checks. $$

ANDREA' S RESTAURANT 3100 19th St., Metairie, 834-8583; www.andreasres-taurant.com Chef-proprietor Andrea Apuzzo's restaurant serves dishes inspired by his native Italy. The lasagna features house-made pasta, spinach, imported cheese, ground beef and fresh herbs with tomato-basil sauce. The crab cake and eggplant Andrea is served with lemon-butter sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$$

ANGELI ON DECATUR 1141 Decatur St., 566-0077; www.angelires-taurant.webs.com The Virtuous Angel vegetarian pizza has spinach, artichokes, tomato, mushrooms, feta and mozzarella with garlic herb sauce. Spaghetti and meatballs is a home-style Italian dish. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $

ASSUNTA'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT 2631 Hwy. 190 W., Slidell, (985) 649-9768; www.assuntas.com Assunta's osso buco features veal smothered with onions and tomatoes and is served with bowtie pasta. Seafood cannelloni combines crawfish, shrimp and tomato-basil sauce and has melted mozzarella on top. Reservations accepted for large parties. Dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards and checks. $$

AVENUE RESTAURANT AND CATERING 450 Laroussini Ave., Harvey, 371-7850; www.avenueres-taurantandcatering.com The hamburger steak is served with a choice of french fries or mashed potatoes on the side. The Italian sausage pasta is topped with marinara sauce. Reservations accepted. Breakfast Sat., lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat., late-night Fri.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

BOSCO'S ITALIAN CAFE 2040 Hwy. 59, Suite D, Mandeville, (985) 624-5066; www.boscositalian.com Oysters Anthony are topped with sauteed prosciutto, garlic and green onions and baked with a crust of Italian bread crumbs and Romano cheese. Pan-fried redfish is topped with artichoke hearts, fresh mushrooms, crabmeat and lemon-butter sauce. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Tue.-Sun., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$

BRAVO! CUCINA ITALIANA 3413 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 828-8828; www.bravoitalian.com Bravo's surf-and-turf combination includes a 5-oz. filet, grilled shrimp, sauteed spinach, a Romano-crusted tomato, vegetables and Tuscan mashed potatoes. Mama's lasagna bolognese is made with Alfredo and meat sauces. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards.   $$

BRICK OVEN CAFE 2805 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 466-2097; wwwbrickovencafe.biz The Brick Oven filet is a grilled prime filet served with pasta. Grilled Brick Oven chicken is served with green onions, mushrooms and artichoke hearts over angel hair pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards.  $$

CAFE DIBLASI 1801 Stumpf Blvd., Suite 4, Terrytown, 361-3106; www.cafediblasi.com Brascioloni is veal round stuffed with meat and cheeses and simmered in tomato sauce. Crabmeat and spinach cannelloni features fresh pasta filled with creamy spinach and jumbo lump crabmeat with Italian cheese sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

CAFE DITALI'S 2104 Manhattan Blvd., Suite E, Harvey, 361-0058; www.ditalis.com The pasta Ditali features a chicken breast sauteed with onions, fresh mushrooms and broccoli. It's served with penne pasta, white wine sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan. Cheese steak hoagies are topped with onion, bell peppers and provolone. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

CAFE GIOVANNI 117 Decatur St., 529-2154; www.cafegiovanni.com Chef Duke LoCicero dubs his cuisine New World Italian. Giovanni's cannelloni is stuffed with pork, veal, beef, cheese, eggplant and pine nuts. Chicken a la Roma is a chicken breast stuffed with Italian sausage, spinach and fontina and topped with rustic roasted tomato sauce. Reservations recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

CAFE ROMA 1901 Sophie Wright Place, 524-2419; www.cafe- romauptown.com The Roma special sandwich is an Italian loaf filled with pepperoni, salami, ham, cheese, black olives and mushrooms. Chicken Caesar salad is served with house-made Caesar dressing. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$

CARMELO RISTORANTE 1901 Hwy. 190, Suite 7, Mandeville, (985) 624-4844; www.ristorantecarmelo.com Local seafood is highlighted in dishes like house-made crabmeat ravioli served with light sherry cream sauce. Grouper Leonora features a grilled fillet topped with shrimp, artichokes and mushrooms in butter sauce and served with vegetables. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

DICRISTINA'S 810 N. Columbia St., Suite C, Covington, (985) 875-0160; www.dicristinas.com Soft-shell crab Emily features a fried soft-shell crab over angel hair pasta with crawfish cream sauce. Grilled shrimp are served with cheese ravioli in Alfredo sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

DOMENICA 123 Baronne St., 648-6020; www.domenicarestaurant.com Chef John Besh's restaurant serves rustic Italian dishes. The Calabrese pizza is topped with tomatoes, spicy salami, mozzarella, capers and olives. The squid ink pasta is tossed with crabmeat and fresh herbs. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards.  $$$

ELEVEN79 1179 Annunciation St., 299-1179; www.eleven79.com Pasta bolognese is made with bucatini pasta, ground veal, beef and pork and tomato sauce seasoned with garlic, basil and oregano. Tomato and crab salad features sliced vine-ripened tomatoes with jumbo lump crabmeat and balsamic vinaigrette. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards.  $$$

FAUSTO'S BISTRO 530 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-7121; www.faustosbistro.com Veal scaloppini Rolando features sauteed veal, artichoke hearts and mushrooms in lemon cream sauce and served over penne bordelaise. The Parmesan-crusted Gulf fish is topped with crabmeat, tomato and white wine butter sauce and served over wilted spinach with rosemary potatoes. Reservations recommended. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

FRANK'S RESTAURANT 933 Decatur St., 525-1602; www.franksrestaurantnew-orleans.com Shrimp and crawfish Gagliano features seafood tossed with garlic, green onions and fresh basil and served over angel hair pasta. The veal Marsala is veal sauteed with mushrooms and Marsala wine and served with pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

GIO'S VILLA VANCHERI 2890 E. Causeway Approach, Mandeville, (985) 624-2597; www.giosvillavancheri.com The popular orecchio di elefante is a veal chop pounded thin in the shape of an elephant ear and served with pasta and salad. The osso buco Milanese is a veal shank braised in red sauce and served with salad and rice or pasta. Reservations recommended. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards.  $$$

GIORLANDO'S RESTAURANT 741 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie, 835-8593 This Metairie eatery specializes in casual Italian fare. Chicken and eggplant Parmesan features lightly fried eggplant and chicken over angel hair pasta with Alfredo and red gravy. The hot muffuletta is another popular choice. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri. Credit cards and checks. $$

IL POSTO ITALIAN CAFE 4607 Dryades St., 895-2620; www.ilpostocafe-nola.com The Adventure grilled cheese is prepared with creamy Gorgonzola, toasted walnuts and honey and served on pressed multi-grain bread. The Italian hero panino includes mortadella, soppressata salami, fontina, tomatoes and balsamic dressing pressed on ciabatta. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $

IMPASTATO'S RESTAURANT 3400 16th St., Metairie, 455-1545; www.impastatos.com The fresh fish Payton features a pan-fried fillet topped with a sauce of crabmeat, crawfish, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, lemon, butter and Dry Sack sherry. Ravioli are made fresh with spinach and imported cheeses and topped with tomato gravy. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$$

IRENE'S CUISINE 539 St. Philip St., 529-8811 Signature baked oysters Irene are topped with Italian cheeses and pancetta. The lamb a la Provence features seared chops with rosemary-wine demi-glace. Reservations accepted. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

ITALIAN BARREL 430 Barracks St., 569-0198; www.italianbarrel.com The porcini and truffle ravioli are served with creamy white wine sauce and a drizzle of truffled olive oil. The Italian-style osso buco features a baked 16-oz. veal shank with red sauce served over polenta. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

JOE SEPIE' S CAFE 4402 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 324-5613 Roast beef po-boys are popular. Italian sausage and peppers are served over angel hair pasta in cream sauce. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Thu.-Fri. Credit cards.  $$

LA DIVINA GELATERIA 621 St. Peter St., 302-2692; 3005 Magazine St., 342-2634; Loyola University, Carrollton Residence Hall, 258-2115; www.ladivinagelateria.com Strawberries and balsamic vinegar sorbetto is made with Ponchatoula strawberries and aged balsamic vinegar. The muffalino panino is a pressed muffuletta with salami, Italian ham, mortadella, aged provolone and olive salad. No reservations. Hours vary by location. Credit cards. $

LEONARDO TRATTORIA 709 St. Charles Ave., 558-8986; www.leonardonola.com This trattoria cooks pizzas in a wood oven. A popular pie is the Leonardo, with fresh mozzarella, pesto, pistachios, shrimp and red onions. Pastas include linguine al Sambuca, with shrimp, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, basil, cherry tomatoes and Sambuca. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun., Credit cards. $$

LOUISIANA PIZZA KITCHEN UPTOWN 615 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-5900; www.louisianapizzakitchenuptown.com The rosemary chicken tortellini combines chicken, portobello mushrooms and roasted bell peppers in a pesto cream sauce topped with Parmesan cheese. At brunch, the Southwestern frittata is a crustless quiche filled with black beans, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream and cilantro and is served with a biscuit. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

MANDINA'S RESTAURANT 3800 Canal St., 482-9179; Azelea Shopping Center, 4240 Hwy. 22, Suite 1, Mandeville, (985) 674-9883; www.man-dinasrestaurant.com This traditional neighborhood restaurant serves home-style Italian dishes with Creole influences. Popular appetizers include shrimp remoulade and fried eggplant sticks with marinara. Hearty steaks like the 12-oz. rib-eye come with french fries. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MAXIMO'S ITALIAN GRILL 1117 Decatur St., 586-8883; www.maximosgrill.com Grab a table or booth or sit at the counter overlooking the open kitchen where chefs prepare meals in front of diners. Chili-glazed scallops are served on a bed of sauteed vegetables. The osso buco comes with garlic potatoes and asparagus. Reservation recommended. Dinner daily. Credit cards. $$$

MONA LISA RESTAURANT 1212 Royal St., 522-6746  Mardi Gras linguine features andouille sausage and shrimp in tomato cream sauce. The eggplant Parmesan is paneed eggplant topped with Creole red sauce, provolone, mozzarella and Parmesan and is served over linguine. No reservations. Lunch Fri.-Sun., dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MOSCA'S 4137 Hwy. 90 W., Avondale, 436-9942; www.moscas-restaurant.com Shrimp Mosca features shrimp sauteed with Italian seasoning and white wine. Chicken a la Grande is chicken sauteed with rosemary, Italian seasonings, whole cloves of garlic and white wine. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Cash only. $$$

NONNA MIA  3125 Esplanade Ave., 948-1717; www.nonnamia.net There's plenty of outdoor seating on the patio and porch of this pizzeria and Italian eatery. Gourmet pizza choices include a pie with portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions and roasted red pepper sauce. Lobster ravioli are served with vodka cream sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

R & O'S RESTAURANT 216 Old Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 831-1248 The meatball pizza is made with house-made dough, red sauce and meatballs. The muffuletta is filled with ham, salami, Swiss cheese, mozzarella and olive salad and is served warm on toasted bread. No reservations. Lunch daily, dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

RED GRAVY 125 Camp St., 561-8844; www.redgravycafe.com Melanzana is pasta tossed with eggplant and ricotta. The lasagna features layers of pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, meatballs, bolognese sauce and Romano cheese. Delivery available. Reservations accepted for large parties. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri., brunch Sat. Credit cards. $

RICCOBONO'S PEPPERMILL 3524 Severn Ave., Metairie, 455-2266; www.riccobonos.com The oysters Riccobono features baked oysters topped with mushrooms, garlic, olive oil, breadcrumbs and cheese. Veal Parmesan is one of its most popular dishes. Reservations accepted. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

RISTORANTE DA PIERO 401 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 469-8585; www.ristorantedapiero.net The mixed grill combines pork chops, leg of lamb, pancetta, sausage, rosemary potatoes, baked tomatoes and grilled eggplant. House-made pasta highlights dishes such as the tortelloni Romagnola, served with either sage brown butter or bolognese sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks. $$$

RISTORANTE DEL PORTO 501 E. Boston St., Covington, (985) 875-1006 The toasted ricotta gnocchi is topped with crimini mushrooms, Brussels sprouts and carrots. Red wine-braised Berkshire pork shank is served with creamy herbed polenta, market greens and gremolata. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards and checks $$$

RISTORANTE FILIPPO 1917 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 835-4008 Speckled trout is topped with lump crabmeat and served with linguine and a vegetable medley. Paneed veal is served either Marsala- or piccata-style. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SANDRO'S TRATTORIA 6601 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-7784; www.sandrostrattoria.com Sandro's serves a large menu of Italian dishes including seafood, steaks, pasta and salads. Sauteed shrimp, peppers and onions are tossed in cream sauce and served over fried eggplant with sauteed spinach and fettuccine. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

SEMOLINA Clearview Mall, 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-7930; www.semolina.com The shrimp Roban features sauteed shrimp in spicy sauce over shell pasta. Pasta Chicago combines sweet Italian sausage, yellow onions, bell peppers and garlic in red sauce on a bed of angel hair pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SPECIALTY ITALIAN BISTRO 2330 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna, 391-1090; www.-specialtyitalianbistro.com Specialty pizzas included barbecue chicken and blackened shrimp. Eggplant and shrimp is covered in creamy seafood sauce and served with a side of capellini in marinara or fettuccine alfredo. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

TONY ANGELLO'S RESTAURANT 6262 Fleur de Lis Drive, 488-0888 Diners can have the chef send out a series of tasting portions of a host of dishes by saying, "Feed me, Mr. Tony." Popular menu choices include eggplant Tina, which features eggplant medallions topped with house-made tomato sauce and Romano cheese. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tue.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

TONY MANDINA'S 1915 Pratt St., Gretna, 362-2010; www.tonymandinas.com Eggplant Dominic Jude features layers of fried eggplant medallions, shrimp and crabmeat topped with shrimp Alfredo sauce. Shrimp Mandina features jumbo Louisiana shrimp in spicy butter sauce served over angel hair pasta. Reservations accepted. Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Fri.-Sat. Credit cards. $$

VENEZIA RESTAURANT 134 N. Carrollton Ave., 488-7991; www.venezianew-orleans.com Classic Italian fare includes pasta, pizza, steak and entrees such as the creamy eggplant Vatican. Pizzas are cooked in a stone oven and toppings include pepperoni, peppers, sausage, breaded veal and meatballs. Reservations accepted. Lunch Wed.-Fri. and Sun., dinner Wed.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

VINCENT'S ITALIAN CUISINE 4411 Chastant St., Metairie, 885-2984; 7839 St. Charles Ave., 866-9313; www.vin-centsitaliancuisine.com This casual restaurant serves Italian and Creole favorites. Veal canneloni with pureed spinach is a house specialty. Other favorites include the corn and crabmeat bisque and the osso buco. Reservations accepted. Chastant Street: Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. St. Charles Avenue: lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $$

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