Thursday, February 23, 2006

Cafe Torre, Cupertino

You don't expect to find a white tablecloth restaurant in a bland, suburban strip mall... But that's exactly what you get at Cafe Torre.

Located near the busy intersection of DeAnza and Stevens Creek Boulevards is this charming Italian eatery. During a recent lunch visit, owner Vince Torre greeted us at the door and showed us to our table. After just a few minutes inside the warm and cozy restaurant, you easily forget that you're in the middle of a mall. It is one of the few restaurants in the area where you could have a nice, business lunch/meeting. (Park Place, just across the street, is another that comes to mind.)

The menu was more extensive than I expected -- with a number of salads, pastas and sandwiches to choose from. After we ordered, a basket of country-style bread was brought to our table. A short while later came our three dishes: linguine with clams for me, Caeser with grilled chicken for one co-worker, and penne puttanesca for another. We all deemed our food to be quite good. I'm happy to report that my clams were not from a can, and the tomato sauce was simple yet flavorful (lots of garlic!). The service also gets a thumbs-up from me; the staff was friendly and efficient.

Although the prices are a bit high to make Cafe Torre a regular lunch stop for me, it was definitely an enjoyable meal. My pasta dish was $15, but I noticed that the sandwiches are all just under $10 and they are HUGE -- plus they come with fries and a small green salad. (Unfortunately, I'm not a big sandwich eater.)

Cafe Torre
20343 Stevens Creek Boulevard
Cupertino, CA
(408) 257-2383