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July 29, 1999
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: North Beach Cafe

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North Beach Cafe

2605 S. Decatur Blvd.

247-9530

It may not be in San Francisco, but the North Beach Cafe is one of the small stars in our restaurant universe. It features al fresco dining, al dente pasta and a little Al Martino on the sound system. Not to mention a master Sinatra impersonator Bobby Barrrett on Monday nights. All of which make for some cozy fun as you sample the Italian cuisine of owners Ozzie and Judy Montano. They even spice things up a bit from your typical Italian by throwing in a touch of Argentina (Ozzie's native land) along with some very tasty soups, salads and pastas. These make the North Beach Café a big favorite with locals who have kept this place humming for most of this decade….which is an eternity in restaurant years. One way the Montanos trump the Italian food competition is simply by being around a lot. Having on-premises owners gives this place a personality that others, especially the chains, never come close to. Most customers feel like one of the family, and the warmth of the greeting is equaled by the basket of dense, warm onion and herb foccocia bread that's as satisfying as bread gets. As good as it is, save room, for the superior linguini pescatori, chock full of good things that swim, or a solid osso buco. even the Argentine empanadas are fresh made, and served with a garlicky warm chimchurri sauce that is addictively good.

Before I get too carried away, I will admit that the North Beach Cafe doesn't always stack up to the top tier of our Italian restaurants like Circo, Lupo, or the soon-to-be-opened Valentinos. But it does well what it sets out to do--and that is, serve good solid Italian food in a pleasant setting, at moderate prices, with enough personal touches and flavor to bring you back again and again.

This is John Curtas.

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Archives

Nov 24, 2010 | Thanksgiving 2010 - Another Beanie Reveal
John Curtas delves into family history to discover the real story behind Grandma Schroader's Sour Beans.

Nov 19, 2009 | Valentino -- You don't know the truffles I've seen
According to Food Critic John Curtas, no other Italian restaurant in Las Vegas has performed at such a high level for so long.

Oct 1, 2009 | Blow It Up
In at least one part of town, our dining critic John Curtas says the food used to be a lot better.

Sep 25, 2009 | Social Media Meltdown
For our dining critic, John Curtas, social media has started to intrude on dining out.

Sep 2, 2009 | Discovering LOS ANTOJOS
Our dining critic John Curtas finds a new affordable favorite.

Aug 20, 2009 | Chinois R.I.P.
For John Curtas the recent closing of Wolfgang Puck's first Las Vegas restaurant brings back memories.

Aug 3, 2009 | Food, Inc.
John Curtas turns movie reviewer today - but the subject is in his usual area of expertise. Hear his review of "Food, Inc."

Jul 16, 2009 | The Steak That Saved Las Vegas
Dining critic John Curtas finds some steak aged for EIGHT MONTHS and he tells us how it tastes.

Jul 2, 2009 | Bang for Your Buck
Everyone's food budget is tighter these days. But if you still want to dine out now and then, our dining critic John Curtas has a few tips on restaurants now giving you more bang for your buck.

Jun 19, 2009 | Whassup with Wazuzu
Explore Dining Critic John Curtas' love/hate relationship with Wazuzu. If you want to spice up your dinner go for at least a "4 or 5."

Jun 12, 2009 | Two Farmer's Markets
Fresh, locally produced food has become a big trend across the U.S. Our food critic, John Curtas, says there's more of this trend in Las Vegas than you might think.

Jun 4, 2009 | MandM Soul Food
John Curtas tells us about one of his favorite dining spots - a surpsingly affordable one.

May 28, 2009 | Checkpoint Charlie
While fine dining has seen a downturn in Las Vegas in recent months, our dining critic John Curtas says at least one dining legend intends to stay put. Charlie Trotter is standing pat in Las Vegas. John Curtas reviews Resturant Charlie.

May 8, 2009 | Food Festival Frenzy!
It's a time of many food festivals in Las Vegas. John Curtas has an overview.

May 5, 2009 | Peppermill Coffee Shop and Fireside Lounge
A landmark Las Vegas restaurant gets a visit from John Curtas. He takes you to the Peppermill.

Apr 23, 2009 | Thai Me Up Thai Me Down
Thai cuisine is starting to show up in more places in Las Vegas. John Curtas has some recommendations

Apr 9, 2009 | A Gourmet Corner - In Spring Valley?
Food Critic John Curtas takes a trip to the strangest gourmet corner in town.

Apr 2, 2009 | Pip's is a Pip
If you're looking for good dining near Aliante, our dining critic, John Curtas, has found a new place to go.

Mar 26, 2009 | Stripped to Its Bare Essentials
Dining on steak at Planet Hollywood! John Curtas takes you along.

Mar 19, 2009 | Hachi is absolutely amazing!
John Curtas has a find - a Japanese-fusion restaurant on the west edge of the city.

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