Hula Hotties Cafe was one of the best restaurants in Dallas, and it probably was my favorite place to eat in Oak Cliff. When husband-and-wife owners Jill Inforzato and Roger Simpson recently switched concepts, from Hawaiian to Italian, I knew it would be OK.
It’s Jill Inforzato we’re talking about here. She’s awesome.
We had dinner at Inforzato’s Thursday night, while everyone else with a beating heart in Oak Cliff was at opening night of the new Gloria’s for 25-cent margaritas. (We look forward to eating there when it’s not packed to the gills.)
The Inforzato’s menu includes a fried ravioli appetizer ($4). That’s not something you see on too many menus in Dallas. Campisi’s has them, yes, but they’re not like the ones at Imo’s in my home state. Since Jill is from Minnesota, and she is one of the best cooks around, I figured hers might be close. Unfortunately, the waiter forgot to bring them, so we’ll have to wait ’til next time.
First came a basket of four doughy bread knots, with loads of olive oil, garlic and parmesan. Tempting, but too filling. I didn’t want to spoil my appetite or have to be rolled out of the restaurant. So I laid off them.
My date and I both ordered spaghetti ($6). He ordered a meatball ($2.50), and I ordered “Cousin Kyle’s homemade sausage”, ($2.50).
The spaghetti comes with choice of a spicy tomato sauce, “Grandma Dora’s marinara”, or garlic butter olive oil. We both ordered the tomato sauce, which is a little spicy and not too sweet. It also comes with a little dollop of Jill’s homemade pesto sauce and big sprigs of basil for quite a lovely presentation.
About halfway through our meal, she brought us an “experiment”, two big crusty hunks of bread fresh out of the oven. Divine.
Even if you never want to eat Italian food, go to Inforzato’s for the desserts. A butterscotch cannoli special was tempting. But we went for apple pie. Layers of sliced apples, cinnamon and aromatic spices in a perfect crust, served with caramel. Amazing.
Inforzato’s has applied for a liquor license. The place used to be byob, but not anymore, since their insurance policy won’t allow it.