Under The Monarch high rise on the corner of 5th Street and West Avenue, lies an impressive Italian restaurant disguised as a lounge. The decor of Enzo’s immense open space is bold to say the least. The high lofty ceilings, brightly painted walls, large columns, a dozen disco balls, plush booths, dance floor and full bar makes for an eclectic new venue that’s anything but boring.
Not only does Enzo offer nightly djs, salsa lessons and karaoke, but their extensive menu of Italian dishes will make you rethink your next evening outing. They do their Italian right, offering only the freshest of ingredients to make the traditional Italian items that even Grandpa Lorenzo would approve. We started off with a cocktail of course. I’m a whiskey girl by nature, but perhaps I was looking daintier than usual or maybe because it was barely drinking time, the bartender suggested we try the mojito. A great choice, not too sweet and just enough mint to make it a refreshing start to what would be a rich and fulfilling next hour.
The plate of arancini was our first course, three deep fried balls of rice, parmesan and mozzarella cheese with bits of prociutto sitting in a light tomato salsa. We were informed this was traditional street food you’d find from vendors on the streets of Italy. I’m usually down for anything fried, with cheese, that you can find on streets, and thankfully this tasty appetizer wasn’t too rich to keep me from all the deliciousness to come.
Continuing down the slippery slope of fried foods, we ordered a basket of their house fries and an order of their special calamari, each with a bit of a twist. I was more than excited to find their fries were of the sweet potato variety. Rubbed with savory spices and served with ketchup, the fries were perfectly crunchy on the outside and practically melted in your mouth. We soon found that such a combination results in a fry-less bowl and a full belly sooner than later. The Fritto Misto provided a heaping mix of lightly fried calamari and shrimp served with a fresh chunky tomato dipping sauce. Simple and satisfying, just what I’d been hoping for; not too greasy and with a slight spiciness.
Oh no, we’re not hardly finished yet. Out came the picturesque Grilled Vegetable pizza with large hunks of zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers and onions made with olive oil. All atop a carefully constructed and traditionally Italian thin crust, made fresh to order. This was our favorite dish thus far… until the pasta arrived. The Linguine Zucchine e Gamberetti was pasta perfection, creamy and full of flavor complete with shrimp, mushroom and zucchini.
The thought and care put in to every dish at Enzo became more obvious with each plate. Their complete menu can be found online here.
Enzo offers daily half price antipasti during happy hour, so those awesome sweet potato fries run about two bucks or just $3 for the arancini. They also offer $20 Mojito pitchers, $3 Margaritas and $5 Martinis every week day. Not to mention Tuesday karaoke night, Wednesday Salsa lessons and a ton of great parties and live performances. Think of Enzo for your next night out for a wholly satisfying evening experience.