Dining out and imbibing with friends are important aspects of socialization that most of us have been missing, and there’s no time like the present to make up for lost time. Recently, I met up with an old friend and a new one to start flexing those social muscles again at North Italia, the beloved Italian eatery at Rampart Commons.
The spacious patio was a tempting (and popular choice) for hanging out, but we opted for the open dining room, with its expansive seating area and inviting bar. North Italia’s made-from-scratch pizzas and pastas and handcrafted cocktails are ideal for savoring in the company of friends.
Regulars surely already have favorites, but the new spring and summer menu additions are also outstanding. Consider starting with the farmer’s market board ($16), a seasonal selection of vegetables including grilled asparagus, broccolini, heirloom tomato, watermelon radish, sugar snap pea and heirloom carrots, served with basil pesto, trinity sauce and grilled hearth bread. If you’re craving more greens, check out the Contadina ($15) in the salad section. With romaine lettuce, rosemary ham, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, watermelon radish, cucumber and pickled red onion, it’s a meal in itself, topped with creamy crescenza croutons.
On the pasta side, the burrata anolini ($19) is light and summery, with blistered heirloom tomatoes, torn basil and pecorino cheese. It works well as a main for lunch or dinner. For heartier fare, the wagyu skirt steak tagliata ($32) comes served with grilled asparagus and a creamy Cambozala polenta.
Stop by on Mondays for the all-day happy hour (through September 6) and try 12 new cocktails, including the Fig-Et About It ($10), with Bottega Bacur gin, Nonino L’aperitivo, fig shrub, fresh lemon and prosecco. Gather your friends and sip all the cocktails all summer long.
NORTH ITALIA 1069 S. Rampart Blvd., 702-507-0927. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
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