Mom-and-pop Alessia’s brings big flavors to Mesa

Nov 02, 2017 676

BY: Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Jon Carr is everybody’s neighbor in Northeast Mesa. He greets his guests at Alessia’s Ristorante Italiano like they’re lifelong friends. Carr unapologetically injects humor into his conversations, making diners feel at home. But there’s more to Alessia’s than Carr’s humor and the team-based serving staff. It’s about the central- to northern-style Italian dishes made by his Hawaiian-born wife, Shari, who trained with a Roman chef for 10 years in Honolulu.

“She’s just a natural cook,” he said. “The big difference between us and other Italian restaurants is we stick true to Italy. We do have a few Americanized dishes, like Alfredo. But she knows the proper ways and techniques.” Shari Carr makes each sauce on the menu from scratch when guests order the dishes, whether it’s Gnocchi Amatriciana ($18) with bacon, onion, garlic and white wine in a tomato sauce; or Spaghetti Bolognese with ground beef, carrots, celery and onions in tomato sauce ($17). Because each dish is made with care, meals can take 30 to 40 minutes. Nearly everything is built on fresh tomato, basil and parmesan cheese.

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