July 28, 2013

1. Casa Lu Al, Lima

Location: 2323 N. West St., Lima

Phone: 419-229-0774

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday

Highlights: The secret is in the sauce. If you think the marinara sauce at Casa Lu Al tastes extra special that may be because it has been passed down by the owner’s mother. In fact, most everything here is made fresh with homemade lasagna and the rigatoni primavera being popular choices. Don’t forget to top off your meal with something sweet like the spumoni!

2. Olive Garden, Lima

Location: 1936 Roschman Ave., Lima

Phone: 419-222-7724

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Highlights: The food is great and it’s also affordable. With their two for $25, two people can experience fine dining and leave full, all for an affordable price. The special comes with choice of soup or salad, two entrees, and a choice of dessert or appetizer. Want a quick lunch? They have you covered there too, with their $6.99 lunch specials which include soup or salad and your choice of five different lunch choices. Of course, it always comes with unlimited breadsticks. If you want to try something tried and true, order the tour of Italy, the most popular item on the menu that includes chicken parmesan, lasagna and fettuccini alfredo.

3. Milano Café, Lima

Location: 2383 Elida Road, Lima

Phone: 419-331-2220

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: If you want to try something unique and Italian, check out the Milano Café. All their recipes are made in house and are original, either passed down in the family or created in their kitchens. Nothing here is pre-packaged and everything is fresh. Their veal dishes are also a popular choice. They are also the only place in town that offers hand breaded mozzarella sticks. For authentic Italian cuisine, stop on in!

Honorable Mentions: Fazoli’s, Lima; Viva Maria, Lima; Burgundy’s, Lima