The weather’s gone all autumnal on us, and you know what that means: Sunday night Bolognese at my house, right? Right. But when it’s time to head out to a great red-sauce Italian joint, I’m wondering: Where do you go? And please don’t say Cafe Juanita, because that’s not the kind of Italian restaurant I’m talking about, nor would I call Holly Smith’s Kirkland Italian a “joint.” Ditto for the Varchetta brothers’ beautiful Barolo, Tom D’s SLU newcomer Cuoco, Jason Stratton’s cascina Spinasse, and Ethan Stowell’s Staple & Fancy. No offense to the aforementioned (I’d happily send you to any of them) but that’s not what I’m looking for.
I’m talkin’ Lady and the Tramp chianti and candlelight Italian. Billy Joel’s “bottle of red, bottle of white” Italian. “On top of spaghetti” Italian. Places where you won’t be out of place standing up with a glass of red in hand, wiping the red gravy off your face and pulling a Rosemary Clooney. I’ll be rounding ’em up early next month, so sing it, paisan!