La Torretta a pretty place for authentic Italian food

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I’m always up for trying some handmade Italian food, and I went to La Torretta for the first time recently. The north Scottsdale spot is pretty from the outside, with twinkly lights adorning the exterior of the restaurant.

Inside, the spot is really nice, with big murals of Renaissance-style figures covering the walls. Tables are covered in linens, and there’s a lounge-y bar area with a single TV in the corner.

Both my companion and I noticed the place was pretty quiet despite being full of people–maybe it’s because it gives off a romantic vibe. There was some Frank Sinatra music playing in the background, though, which was a nice touch.

After a great meal a week before at Tutti Santi, La Toretta had a lot to live up to. My first impression of the food was the bread, which was ultra-crusty small pieces of a baguette served with packages of butter. It didn’t taste super-fresh, and for how classy the atmosphere was, the foil packages of butter was a turn-off.

We ordered the Mozzarella Caprese and Bruschetta ($9.99), one of my favorite dishes, to start. The portion for the price took me aback, considering I had seen much more generous plates at other spots. To get only two small pieces of mozzarella was sort of shocking, and my favorite part of the dish was the bruschetta. If I go back to La Torretta, I would try to order a full appetizer of bruschetta (it’s not on the menu, but maybe they’d do it.) The bread had an amazing flavor and texture to it because the heaping hunks of tomatoes perfectly saturated the bread.

My entree was by far my favorite part of the meal. It was the huge Tortellini con Ricotta ($18.99), which came in a cream sauce covered with mushrooms and peas. The dish was gigantic–I could only eat half of it–and every bite of the tri-colored pasta was delicious. I really, really enjoyed it and would recommend it if you go.

My dining partner got the Ravioli Farcitti dell’Aragosta ($25.99), which was the lobster ravioli pictured here. He said it was great.

Finally, there was the Tiramisu ($8.95). It was served with whipped cream on the side, which I found odd,  and topped with strawberries. It was super-cold in the center and didn’t have a strong coffee taste, but I did enjoy the cream part. The dessert just wasn’t as traditional as I would have liked–I like a ton of espresso soaking the ladyfingers, but it tasted good and was served up generously.

Maybe it’s because the place was pretty busy, but we noticed the service from our bartender/server was pretty slow. It could have just been because the spot was going for a laid-back vibe, but just be prepared to take your time throughout the meal if you go.

There are definitely some tweaks I’d make to create a better experience at La Torretta, but I would go back for the atmosphere and that amazing tortellini dish.