If you are ever looking for good Italian food in the Dallas area, Joe's Italian Cafe is the best place to go. I discovered this restaurant while exploring my new neighborhood with my then fiance. I had been terribly spoiled by the excellent Italian food I ate while living in New York, and I had found most Dallas Italian restaurants very disappointing. But Joe's Italian Cafe is a big exception. The food is delicious, and very affordable.
I love real Italian food, and Joe's feels authentic but also creative. My first visit, I had the fried calamari which was crisp, but still tender, and served with a suitably tangy marinara sauce. But it was the pasta with eggplant that won me over. Unlike lesser Italian restaurants where the marinara tastes like it came straight from a can, this sauce was alive with flavor and freshness, which beautifully complimented the eggplant. The dish had a topping of melted mozzarella that had the rich texture of good quality cheese. The whole dish felt fresh, and with none of that nasty grease layer that ruins too many pseudo-Italian dishes.
In subsequent visits, I sampled their lasagna, which is wonderful, and my personal favorite dish, the gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce. The Gorgonzola sauce is beyond amazing--it captures salty earthiness of the cheese, but it's surprisingly delicate, and never overwhelms the subtle flavor of the gnocchi themselves. I loved the restaurant so much, that we ended up having the rehearsal dinner for our wedding there. By the way, if you are planning a wedding, I can say that Joe's staff was a pleasure to work with--planning the rehearsal dinner was probably the easiest and least stressful part of our whole wedding planning experience. Their prices were very reasonable, and they were very flexible. Although the Addison location did not have enough room for our party, we were very happy with the amount of space they had at their new location. For our rehearsal dinner, we had fried calamari as an appetizer, and guests could choose from about four different options on their menu (which we chose). I had the lobster ravioli, which were incredible. They even brought out mini-cannolis for a dessert, which were a perfect finish for an excellent meal.
If you love Italian food and are in the Dallas area, this is the place for you. It's also an excellent place to have a party or large event.