Photos by Greg Nichols

The restaurant was beautifully decorated, with its interior described as modern rustic by owner Dupree Brar. Great service, delicious food, cozy booth, nice wall hangings and a few succulents. I think I’ve found a new favorite!

Appetizers

Olivia Garcia on the slide poppers: Slide of Italy takes the meaning of jalapeño poppers to a new level of exquisiteness. The jalapeños were freshly cut, crisp and seedless, and then filled with cream cheese. Bacon was carefully wrapped around the jalapeño as if it were a perfect suit. But it didn’t stop there. A touch of spicy-sweet Sriracha and ancho chili sauce complemented the jalapeño poppers, leaving you wanting more. I couldn’t stop eating them.

Doretha Jones on the zuppa di mare: This soup starts out as a lobster bisque, but then the chef makes it better! The soup is thinner and less filling than a traditional lobster bisque. In place of the all-too-much cream and butter, you experience the lighter and more flavorful sautéed shrimp, scallop and salmon with chopped onions and green peppers. It’s delicious as a cup before a meal, but satisfying enough for a bowl at lunch or a light dinner.

Erin Koehler on the honey Sriracha shrimp: I love seafood, so was looking forward to trying this dish. There were four shrimps sitting in a honey Sriracha sauce. Buttery and perfectly cooked, the shrimp were plump and savory. Though the Sriracha part of its name might make spicy-sensitive customers wary, it was very mild and somewhat sweet, though it stayed true to the Sriracha flavor. Although you might not want to, this dish is easy to share! Presentation was beautiful, with basil and mint sprinkled on top and plated on a simple, rectangular dish. This appetizer is definitely a favorite for me and would be for other shrimp lovers!

Tamara Baker on the ahi poke nachos: I’m a huge fan of sushi and all things seafood, so when our server, Aurora, presented the ahi nachos, I was a little excited. The ahi tuna was served poke style, loosely translated as Hawaiian fish salad, over wonton chips, with avocado, thinly sliced jalapeño, cilantro, and a hoisin and Sriracha sauce to top it all off. The entire dish was amazing, but the things that I appreciated the most were the wonton chips. They were light and perfectly fried. Wontons can very easily be overcooked and extremely oily, but these were cooked to perfection. Also, head chef Ruben said that they marinade the ahi overnight, which really added some flavor to the already fresh and delectable fish.

Lynn Agabashian on the caprese salad: A perfect, cylindrical stacking of alternating layers of thinly sliced vine-ripened tomatoes and discs of fresh mozzarella. That’s the beginning of a caprese salad. The ending is its topping with ribbons of basil drizzled with a reduction of balsamic and hints of honey. Presented beautifully, I favor this salad’s simplicity; it is a heart-healthy must and tastefully pleasing.

Entrées

Tamara Baker on the herb and dill salmon: I found the herb and dill salmon to be flavorful with the seasoning, but not so much that it masked the already delightful taste of the salmon. It was cooked to where it had a crunch on the outside, but was still moist on the inside. Anyone who has cooked salmon knows how easy it is to dry out when cooking, so kudos to the chef! The salmon was served on a bed of basmati rice, seasoned with fresh parsley, butter and salt. The simplicity of the rice effortlessly complemented the herb seasonings on the salmon. The entrée was also served with fresh, sautéed green beans, with its crunchy freshness intact. This meal is perfect for someone trying to heed their New Year’s diet.

Lynn Agabashian on the bone marrow chimichurri: Growing up on a Mediterranean diet, we were no strangers to some unusual delicacies. My first memory was using a handy nut pick to extract the succulent, gelatinous treat from the bones of mom’s roasted lamb shanks. The use of beef bones was new to me, intentionally sawed on the length and prepared with chimichurri. The halved bones were marinated for hours in a blend of olive oil; some splashes of vinegar; a couple pinches of salt; sprigs of oregano, cilantro and parsley; and then roasted at 500 degrees. The intention is to spread the marrow on a toasted, garlicky crostini. Surprise yourself – you might find it appealing.

Erin Koehler on the healthy slice: This gourmet pizza was simply delicious! Thin crust held the entire dish together, literally and figuratively. Well cooked, the crust was soft, yet had a nice crunch on the edge. It was crisped to perfection, golden browned with a scrumptious texture and flavor. This pie had a fresh taste, which is characterized by its name, the healthy slice. Not your traditional pizza, its pesto sauce was flavorful but not overpowering. Toppings included feta cheese, fresh spinach sautéed in garlic, artichoke hearts, rosemary and tender grilled chicken. If you’re looking for a savory pizza with the health benefits of a salad, look to the healthy slice as your go-to!

Doretha Jones on the creamy garlic chicken specialty pizza: Good pizza has to have good crust, and this one is delicious. Not too thick or thin, with crusty edges and bottom and soft middle. This crust is the perfect canvas for the rich and creamy garlic sauce and mozzarella cheese. The chicken breast, mushrooms, black olives, green onions, broccoli and cooked tomatoes are then so finely chopped you experience the flavor of each ingredient in every bite. This will be on my reorder list!

Drinks and Desserts

Doretha Jones on the Almond Joy cocktail: Bartender Chase Leonard’s Almond Joy cocktail was beautiful and tasted like a liquid Almond Joy, but with a kick! I’m a coconut lover, so, personally, I would choose this drink over any dessert.

Lynn Agabashian on the tiramisu: In Italian, tiramisu means “cheer me up.” The taste of liquor-soaked ladyfingers, light and airy under and over a foamy mascarpone layering, makes that true. A dollop of whipped cream and a whoosh of cocoa powder for a finishing touch can be just enough for a heavenly slice of Italy.

Erin Koehler on the melting chocolate sphere: If you’re looking for dinner – or dessert – and a show, the melting chocolate sphere is entertaining and mouthwatering. The presentation was sophisticated, yet had recognizable ingredients: semi-sweet chocolate, ice cream and fruit. At first glance, it looked like a chocolate sphere with a sprinkling of powdered sugar sitting on a circular dish. Alternating strawberry and banana slices fanned out around the chocolate, sitting on top of a tastefully applied chocolate drizzle. Our waitress, Aurora, then gently poured a caramel sauce over the chocolate. The chocolate shell melted away to expose a scoop of vanilla ice cream hiding in the center! The flavors were well balanced, sweet caramel, semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla ice cream. The chef added an adventurous twist with thinly sliced almonds and a mint leaf garnish, which add fresh flavor and color! After the first taste, this dish could aptly be named the “disappearing chocolate sphere.”

Olivia Garcia on the cannoli: The cannoli was definitely a popular dessert for the Divas. Chef Ruben Rivera and his staff used their artistry skills to create this beauty. The cannoli can be described as a Sicilian “little tubed” crispy pastry, stuffed with sweetened ricotta and topped with chocolate chips and chopped pistachios. I highly recommend ordering this dessert to impress a date or to simply treat yourself and your girlfriends after a long day at work. Go ahead. You deserve it.

Tamara Baker on the Hendricks kiwi martini: Slice of Italy bartender Chase Leonard started our afternoon dining experience off with a kick!

He served us the Hendricks kiwi martini, made with Hendricks Gin and fresh kiwi puree. This drink was delicious and DANGEROUS. It was extremely refreshing, with the kiwi puree providing a sweet and light flavor that perfectly complemented the gin. When I say dangerous, I mean that I could have easily had two or three, which wouldn’t have been good for anyone.

Chase garnished the martini with a lime as well, which added a bit of citrus to the already impeccable cocktail. I will definitely be having one of these the next time I visit the lounge! 

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