Pioneering Italians were not only the first to put tomatoes in cuisine, they were also the first people to take photographs of themselves pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Delight in their inventiveness with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Italian fare at Strings Italian Cafe in Lodi.
The talented comestible crew at Strings Italian Cafe fixes a bounteous menu of authentic Italian victuals, masterfully fusing old-country dishes with their own signature flair. Instead of doing palate pushups, families can warm up their tasters for future forkfuls by sharing an appetizer of steamed mussels ($8) or thick and creamy artichoke dip served with parmesan toast ($6). A smorgasbord of gleefully tossed greens features a chicken fusilli salad with tomatoes, cucumber, and a garlic cucumber dressing ($9). Inspired entrees, such as the pan-fried ravioli smothered in a spicy tomato cream sauce ($13) and the lasagna pastry baked inside a flaky onion-garlic shell ($14), offer subtle and delicious twists on old favorites, while a bubbly selection of pizzas comes sprinkled with pepperonis or crunchy veggies ($12 each). Hailing from the capital of Lombardy and Italian origami, the calzone Milano offers a delicately folded variation on the one-dimensional pie with diced chicken, broccoli, and mushrooms sautéed in a creamy alfredo sauce ($12).
Strings Italian Cafe
Italian cuisine is generally something the whole family can agree on, but the chefs at Strings Italian Cafe take things one step further, preparing authentic Italian dishes to satisfy any conceivable taste or inclination. The chicken alfredo pizza, for example, makes for a fine casual meal, while fancier plates include a plate of spaghetti topped with a tiny derby hat.