Baci Di Firenze Trattoria
416 North Lakeview Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92807
Fall is finally in the air for Southern California. Not that the last few months have felt like it, as we have routinely had days in the 90's, but it seems like we have finally turned a corner weather wise. Now that the weather is finally cooperating, and with the arrival of pumpkin flavored everything and football, it is finally feeling like fall. Football is what brought us up this way on a recent Saturday night. My niece Kaylie is a cheerleader for her hometown Yorba Linda Giants, and we were coming to watch her perform, but first we were having dinner with my parents, and I chose to eat at Baci Di Firenze.
Baci Di Firenze is located across the street from the old Kaiser Hospital space in Anaheim Hills, and in the same shopping complex as the Steer Inn. From what I can gather looking at their Yelp page, they have been in business for 8 years, even though our waiter commented that they have been around for only six. The entrance to the restaurant is a little odd, as you enter through the side outdoor patio. Not a huge restaurant, with maybe about 15 or so tables inside, we got seated right away without a reservation at about 5:30 on a Saturday night. The place did fill up to capacity during our stay though.
The menu here is pretty much what you would expect from an Italian restaurant in Southern California. There are a good number of pasta dishes, veal, beef, chicken, and seafood entrees to choose from. Prices for entrees are in the $16 to $30 range, and they do include a side of pasta or veggies with them. We were kind of on a strict time schedule, so we made our choices rather quickly, and waited for our food to come out. This is what transpired for us on this evening at Baci Di Firenze.
Bread is always an important thing for Italian restaurants, and this bread at Baci Di Firenze was pretty solid. The outside had a good solid crust to it, while the center was soft. It went well with the oil and vinegar provided, but I would have liked to have tried it with some butter as well. Tasty bread, and they were generous refilling the basket throughout our stay.
Even though salads were not included with our meals, three out of four of us ordered one to start things off. Katie selected this Insalata Alla Baci ($5.50), their version of a house salad to get things rolling. This salad combined mixed greens, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and red onion, with a very well done creamy Italian dressing. Katie of course mentioned the freshness of the produce here, and the wonderful house made dressing, that she could not get enough of. A very promising start to her meal.
I might be overstating my love for this Insalata Alla Cesare ($6.95), but this was one of the best I have had during the 6 year run of this blog. All of my requirements were met for a great Caesar salad at Baci Di Firenze. The dressing was on point, and there was plenty of it included here, without overloading the fresh romaine. There was also plenty of shaved Parmesan topping this, and some very well made croutons. My dad's not a crouton fan, and even he did not gripe about the inclusion of croutons on his salad. Since this visit, every time we are up this way, I think about stopping in for just this salad, it was that good.
Just like you can expect to be in for a crowded day when you visit Disneyland, you can almost always expect my mom to have chicken Parmesan in an Italian restaurant. This was the case on this night as well. This Pollo Alla Parmigiana ($16.95) had her singing its praises. The chicken breast was lightly breaded, with plenty of mozzarella cheese and a lighter than normal tomato sauce. The chicken was tender, and true to form, she took half of this to go for my dad's lunch the next day.
Sorry for the shot from across the table, but my dad could not wait to dig into this Pollo Al Marsala ($18.95), so I had to take this picture real quick. This traditional Italian Marsala dish had a good sized portion of chicken breast sauteed with Marsala and mushrooms. The chicken on its own was good, but what really made this dish was the delicious sauce. It really pushed this meal to well above average. My dad also enjoyed the mushrooms, which did not only taste good, but kept my mother, who has an adverse reaction to the fungi, from trying any of his meal. Well played sir.
I must have zoned out when Katie was ordering, because I was shocked to see her plate arrive at the table. She had the Involtini Di Pollo ($20.95), and this had a lot going on with it. Her chicken breast was stuffed with Italian ham, spinach, and mozzarella cheese, and topped with a mushroom sauce. Kind of like a saltimbocca, but with spinach added. The ham added a nice saltiness here, which gave this plate some bite. She was very happy with her selection.
I wish I could say the same with my choice on this evening. This Cannelloni Alla Romana ($16.95) did not live up to my expectations. The menu says that these crepes were stuffed with veal, cheese, and and tomato sauce, but they must have forgotten the veal, because there was none present. Still moderately tasty, this definitely needed meat to make it better. I will definitely try something else on my next visit.
Even though my meal was not what I expected, everything else we had on this evening was above average. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the mood for upscale Italian, in a relaxed, family run atmosphere. Yes, the prices might be a little on the high side, but you're paying for the quality here, and they do Italian the right way. The service was a little stiff at first, but quickly warmed during our stay. A great place to eat before watching my niece cheer, and enjoy some of the cooler weather we have in store for us.
Out of five boars, (because this restaurant's name translates to Kisses of Florence, and one of the most popular tourist spots in that city is a bronze statue of a boar, which tourist rub its snout hoping it will bring a return trip to the city), five being best to zero being worst, Baci Di Firenze Trattoria gets 3.5 boars.
For more information about Baci Di Firenze Trattoria, head to their website here: http://www.bacianaheim.com/