Top restaurants: Mesa - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Guide

East Valley Guide Top restaurants: Mesa

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Posted: Saturday, October 30, 2010 5:00 am | Updated: 3:13 pm, Wed Apr 20, 2011.

MESA

Alessia's Ristorante Italiano (5251 E. Brown Road, [480] 396-2888). Unassuming from the outside, this authentic Italian gem offers a cozy, romantic setting on the inside. Owners Jonathan and Shari Carr are highly knowledgeable and entertaining, and every dish is prepared from scratch, making the food is the true star here. $

Anzio Landing Italian Restaurant (2613 N. Thunderbird Circle, [480] 832-1188). World War II memorabilia lines the walls at this Italian eatery overlooking Falcon Field Municipal Airport. The complimentary bread is divine, and the long list of pasta specialties has few misses. $$

Asia (1236 E. Baseline Road, [480] 892-0688). A hip noodle house (formerly called SN Pacific Rim Asian Kitchen) with a black, white and red decor and sushi bar. The cozy restaurant features noodle specialties from Japan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. Jazz bands play Friday and Saturday nights. $

Blue Adobe Grille (144 N. Country Club Drive, [480] 962-1000). The carne adovada plate is the highlight of the New Mexican dishes found at this award-winning establishment. There's an excellent selection of Southwest infused seafood as well, including lobster tamales with mango salsa & raspberry chipotle. $

Buca di Beppo (1730 S. Val Vista Drive, [480] 507-9463). Yes, it's an over-the-top Italian behemoth but it works well for celebrations thanks to the lively atmosphere and family style servings. Try the garlic mashed potatoes, Caesar salad and nine-layer lasagna. Additional locations in Chandler and Scottsdale. $$

Crackers & Co. Café (535 W. Iron Ave., [480] 898-1717, and 1325 N. Greenfield Road, [480] 924-9977). From pancakes and omelets to salad and soup, this eatery does 'em all - and does 'em well. The extensive breakfast and lunch menu also features sinful homemade cakes and treats. Additional location in Tempe. $

Croshaw's Gourmet Pies (6731 E. Brown Road, [480] 832-7437). Based out of St. George, Utah, Croshaw's moved into the Valley in September 2009 and quickly found its niche with a unique menu. There are more than 30 made-from-scratch dessert pies as well as quiche and pot pies for the lunch crowd. $

D'Vine Wine Bar & Bistro (2837 N. Power Road, [480] 654-4171). Chef Ramon has served such Are-we-still-in-Mesa? dishes as pan-seared ostrich on a cheddar polenta cake topped with a lingonberry jalapeño preserve and escargot sautéed in white wine with cream and bleu cheese tossed with linguine. The wine tastings with live music on Tuesdays and monthly wine pairing dinners complete the package, making D'Vine the most exciting restaurant in Mesa. Additional location in Chandler. $

Giant Hamburgers (2753 E. Broadway Road, [480] 733-6542). The cooked-to-order, crunchy golden fries are addictive, as are the delicious, juicy, 3/4-pound burgers. Breakfast items are tasty, too - try the fluffy pancakes or biscuits and gravy. $

il Vinaio (270 W. Main St., [480] 649-6476). Owner Cameron Selogie's beer and wine bar features an elegant dining experience unique in downtown Mesa. The Tuscan décor, cathedral ceiling and stained glass windows take you halfway to Italy and the Mediterranean-inspired entrées finish the job. $$

Mangos Mexican Café (44 W. Main St., [480] 464-5700). Über-popular with downtown Mesa's 9-to-5 set, Mangos satisfies with jalapeño-flecked carne asada burritos, enchiladas, a breakfast burrito that's tasty any hour of the day and refreshing pressed fruit juices. Crispy beef or chicken tacos are a mere $1 from 3 to 4 p.m. daily. $

Rancho de Tia Rosa (3129 E. McKellips Road, [480] 659-8787). From the gorgeous architecture to the colorful ambiance and fabulous cuisine, we can't stop singing the praises of this east Mesa gem. Specialties include shrimp quesadillas, salmon enchiladas, chicken mole and an extensive margarita menu. In our part of the country, Mexican restaurants seem to outnumber 7-Elevens. Tia Rosa, though, outshines them all. Additional locations in Chandler and Gilbert. $

Red, White & Brew (6734 E. McDowell Road, [480] 807-9393). The stuffed meatball pizza roll at this neighborhood hangout is top-notch and enough for two, especially if diners take advantage of the endless homemade garlic and Parmesan breadsticks. Another fave is the flavorful 10-ounce marinated flat-iron steak with garlic mashed potatoes. Pizzas, seafood, salads, desserts and nightly specials round out the menu. Additional location in Chandler. $

Sauce (3426 E. Baseline Road, [480] 497-3500) One of the best order-at-the-counter concepts around - the thin, crisp individual pies are crowd-pleasers as are the paninis. Salads are very good and served with a sourdough roll. The tiramisu is tasty, too. Additional locations in Scottsdale and Chandler. $

Vito's Pizza & Italian Ristorante (1947 N. Lindsay Road, [480] 832-3311). This southern Italian family eatery offers something to satisfy every appetite. From veal parmigiana to homemade lasagna, every dish is hearty and baked with love. $

Waldo's BBQ (4500 E. Main St., [480] 807-1645). Barbecue, beer and some serious sass - that's what you'll find at this sawdust-covered rib joint. Sauce comes in a small skillet, frosty beverages are poured into giant mason jars and complimentary cornbread is dished up moments after diners are seated. Sides (try the veggies) are endless, and so are the memories. Additional location in Gilbert. $ assortment of wines. $$

More top restaurants:

CHANDLER | GILBERT | MESA | TEMPE | QUEEN CREEK | SCOTTSDALE | PARADISE VALLEY | AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS

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