Thursday, February 23, 2012

An Evening in Florence (KY) at Karlo's Bistro Italia

Angel Hair with Chicken and Spinach
      I'm enjoying part II of my Angel Hair with Chicken and Spinach from a few days ago.  I don't always write and eat at the same time, but then kitty bags don't always inspire one to do so.  All of the flavors were still vibrant with the angel hair pasta, chicken, and spinach awakened from the reheating.  The light lemon-agilo-olio was the mild sauce that brought it all together originally and continued to do so.  The only thing missing was our server grating fresh parmesan on top.

Entrance to Karlo's Bistro Italia
      We weren't expecting the crowd when we arrived at Karlo's in Florence on a Saturday night.  The parking lot was full and we found ourselves in the overflow area.  We were meeting Chris and Mark and luckily I had the foresight of making a reservation.  It had been several years since any of us had dined at Karlo's so obviously the word was out. Eric and I have never had a bad experience there nor any issues with the preparations.  We were immediately seated and our server, Chucko, set the tone for the evening. We felt unhurried and
his extreme knowledge of the menu helping us with specific choices.  We weren't disappointed with any of his recommendations.  He continued to be attentive and energetic throughout the meal.

The Spacious Dining Room
      The dining rooms are comfortable, well spaced for conversation, and traditionally Italian with accents of red and green and family photos.  Spaces are divided by plants, columns, and draperies hiding private dining areas of various sizes.  

Caesar Salad

      Mark and I started with the Caesar Salad.  It was fresh romaine and both of us agreed the Caesar dressing was just the right amount and wasn't too overpowering.  

Bean and Sausage Soup of the Day
Chris and Eric choose the Soup of the Day, beans and sausage, in a creamy tomato broth, topped with a few pieces of penne.  My sampling found it powerfully rich and flavorful in just one spoonful.  

Penne Remigio
Mark had the same entrée as me while Chris went with the Penne Remigio, a lively combination of blackened chicken, spicy sausage, onions, and peppers tossed with a creamy marinara sauce.  He's probably indulging in the remains of his generous portion about now also.  

Eggplant Parmigiana
Eric was thinking about the Gnocchi with Chicken and Artichokes until we were informed that none of the pastas are made in house. That may be a deal breaker for some diners, but our server was quick to follow up with the fact that everything else is made from scratch.  Eric decided to go with one of his favorites—Eggplant Parmigiana.  The breading was light and puffy like tempura and it was accompanied by a side of spaghetti with both lathered in rich marinara sauce.

      Karlo's Bistro Italia started out as a venture with the Bistro Group that regionally oversees TGIF Friday's and McCallisters.  The association ended with the proprietors taking their family recipes and sticking with one very popular freestanding restaurant.  It appears they made the right decision.

Karlo's Bistro Italia on Urbanspoon

DId I hear the guys talking about Florence?  Are we going to italy?

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