Ed Attanasio, BrooWaha
When you go to some select restaurants, it’s immediately apparent that you’re in experienced, professional hands almost the minute you enter. You can instantly sense from the way they do things that they’ve been serving food and drink for a long time. Too many places are inconsistent and offer a hit-or-miss dining experience. That’s why I love Il Postale in Sunnyvale.
The minute you walk through the doors at Il Postale, it’s a great experience. With its brick walls and oak floors, the place just feels warm and comfortable. Located in a building that once housed Sunnyvale’s original post office, Il Postale features Italian-American food that is expertly prepared, beautifully presented and professionally served.
You will never have a bad or even so-so meal at Il Postale. I know, because I’ve eaten there at least 30 times, and every visit has been a memorable one. Sunnyvale has seen a significant resurgence in its restaurant scene. And Il Postale has led the way, with a scene that local high-tech workers gravitate to for both lunch and dinner.
This is authentic Italian faire. You’ll never eat anything out of a can or from a package and they’ll never serve you anything that isn’t top-of-the-line. Freshness reigns supreme at Il Postale. From the wonderful bread that hits the table as soon as you sit down -- to the appetizers, salads, pizzas and pasta dishes -- Il Postale does it all well.
Last time I was there, we started out our meal with Il Postale’s legendary Grilled Marinated Artichoke ($10.95) featured on a bed of spring mixed greens and accompanied by a Dijon mustard aioli. We also had the Carpaccio ($11.95), made with filet mignon and capers, marinated red onion, lemon Dijon mustard and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. For dinner, we had the Beef Braciola ($19.25), a thin beef steak rolled and stuffed with prosciutto, provolone cheese, spinach and Italian herbs with a red sauce and served with soft herb polenta and vegetables; and Blackened Fresh Halibut ($19.95), topped with a fresh avocado, shrimp salsa on a pool of lemon white wine sauce and served with risotto and vegetables.
My absolute favorite at Il Postale is the Seafood Risotto ($17.25), a cornucopia of clams, mussels, prawns, baby shrimp scallops and peas, topped with grilled salmon and a light saffron cream sauce. Fresh, rich, creamy and perfectly balanced and seasoned -- I am drooling all over my computer keyboard just thinking about it. It’s a lot of work making a good risotto and this one is to die for.
Il Postale also has a great selection of pizzas (large for $17.95) and calzones ($13.95-$15.95). I would definitely recommend the Pizza Margherita and/or the Sicilian Calzone, with sausage, pepperoni, kalamata olives, mozzarella and ricotta cheese. Unbelievable! Calzones seem like they would be easy to make, but it’s actually very difficult to make a good one. And Il Postale has a great one!
Il Postale is at 127 West Washington Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94086. Their phone number is: (408) 733-9600. Reservations are recommended.