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Orange County

Flavio’s Italian Kitchen
For close to two decades, Flavio Renteria was the dishwasher. Now he owns the place, and his name’s on the sign. Don’t expect Mozza by Batali. This is a neighborhood, red-sauce Italian joint where a karaoke machine is routinely rolled out and Wednesday nights are devoted to… More >>

Phoenix

Sassi
Just glancing at Sassi’s dramatic entranceway, with its gurgling fountains, elegant lighting, and rustic courtyard leading to a heavy wooden door, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was an over-the-top private estate or, perhaps, even a resort. Indeed, this restaurant takes “destination…More >>

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Sassi in Phoenix, Arizona

San Francisco

Sodini’s Green Valley Restaurant
When you’re feeling sentimental for an old-style Italian restaurant, quit reminiscing and get to Sodini’s Green Valley Restaurant in North Beach. The ambiance you long for includes the requisite checkered tablecloths and candles stuffed in old wine bottles. There’s a cozy bar area, where locals…More >>

Perbacco
San Francisco is blessed with many excellent Italian restaurants (several of the best have opened in the past couple of years). They include neighborhood pizzerias, osterias, and trattorias. But for alta cucina, the full-on, high-end experience in a posh place offering everything from soup…More >>

Seattle

Tavolàta
Ah, a romantic evening out with your lover of all things deathly. A little Marilyn Manson on the stereo as you dress, an extra tug on your corset strings for a paler, more emaciated appeal. Perhaps you can drain off a vial of your blood, mixed with Spanish fly, to whet your beloved’s appetite….More >>

At Tavolàta all pastas are entirely homemade

St. Louis

Stellina Pasta Café
How many times have you stood in front of a large refrigerated case, trying to decide which take-home meal looked the best, the freshest, the whatever-est? You won’t have that problem at Stellina Pasta Café — and not only because the refrigerated case at this south-city restaurant…More >>

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