Kansas: The Basil Leaf Café
> Location: Lawrence
> Sample pasta: Deconstructed lasagne
This cozy bar and restaurant serves hearty, non-traditional pasta dishes like deconstructed lasagne, tortellini cordon bleu, and Cajun penne with andouille and shrimp, along with classics like penne abruzzi, spaghettini arrabbiata, and pesto orecchiette with chicken. The portions are large and desserts are excellent.
> Location: Louisville
> Sample pasta: Angel hair pasta aglio e olio
Excellent service and a warm atmosphere make Silvio’s feel like home, while the large menu of antipasti, traditional pasta dishes, and mains like shrimp polenta and veal parmigiana will keep you coming back to try everything.
Louisiana: Josephine Estelle
> Location: New Orleans
> Sample pasta: Canestri cacio e pepe
Combining classic Italian preparations with flavors of the American South, this art deco-themed restaurant uses family recipes, seasonal ingredients, and house-made pasta to create dishes that are uniquely their own – and they’re open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Maine: Solo Italiano
> Location: Portland
> Sample pasta: Mandilli al vero pesto genovese
This intimate farm-to-table restaurant features a modern take on Northern Italian cuisine inspired by the chef’s Genoese roots. Fresh local seafood, foraged mushrooms, and imported Italian meats and cheeses add a depth of flavor to the inventive dishes – pasta most definitely included. The impressive menu changes daily.
> Location: Baltimore
> Sample pasta: Agnolotti del plin with veal ragù
An old school formal wine bar and osteria in Baltimore’s inner harbor, Cinghiale serves authentic Italian cuisine in a setting inspired by 1960s Milan. Start with a selection of salumi and formaggi, then choose between delectable pastas like duck ravioli, gnocchi with morels, and agnolotti with veal ragù.
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