After an amazing experience at The Homestead in La Quinta, I could not wait to try Chapelli’s Restaurant, a small Italian restaurant having the same owners. Although I had not heard of either of these restaurants a month ago, I have heard many great things from friends and colleagues about the food and service. I was looking for a place to take a very special friend of mine and decided to surprise her with dinner at Chapelli’s.
We were seated at a corner table where we could observe the beautifully decorated dining room. The walls were textured with warm tones and the bar was majestic with rich wooden accents. An impressive selection of liqueurs and spirits were on display, balanced with eye-catching artwork on the walls. If the food were only half as good as the décor, I still would have been pleased, but the food was better! We were greeted with a small plate of Italian meats and parmesan with fresh bread. Our server readily greeted us, offering a beverage while we read the menu. We began with a couple starters; fried calamari and beef tips crostini arrived together in perfect portions. The crostini was very impressive, topped with extremely tender and flavorful beef tenderloin medallions, garnished with a basil vinaigrette and accompanied by fried artichoke hearts. Before the main course, we shared a caprese salad of sliced tomatoes and soft buffalo mozzarella cheese. A little roasted garlic and a balsamic vinaigrette made this dish complete.
Having worked in fine-dining Italian restaurants for over ten years, the bar is set high for my palette when it comes to the classics. Noticing the menu’s description of the Halibut as, “awesome”, we were quick to make our selections. We had to share both the Herb-Crusted Halibut and their version of “Cioppino”, a traditional Italian-American favorite of fresh seafood stew. This Cioppino however was more of a, “seafood pasta”, as it was served over a bed of linguini with a thicker, spicy tomato sauce. I have to admit that these dishes were intense with flavor and beautifully plated for the menu price. Entrees at Chapelli’s are finished with a complimentary bread pudding, however, we decided to share some spumoni ice cream to complete our Italian meal. It was a perfect finish to a perfect evening.
Chapelli’s Restaurant is a small restaurant located in a shopping center next to a dry-cleaning business, but don’t be fooled by its size or location because they have been serving great food at a great value for ten years. I would recommend this restaurant for any occasion, any day of the week. Having few tables, it would be wise to make a reservation and dinner is served nightly from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Chapelli’s Restaurant is located at 50949 Washington Street at the corner of Calle Tampico. Visit them at: www.chapellisrestaurant.com