There’s definitely something to be said for the warmth of a cozy, family-owned neighborhood restaurant. A place where you can find hearty portions of soulful comfort food, prepared with care by the owner and served by an attentive staff. Here in Anchorage, Little Italy Restaurante has been filling that role by crafting traditional – and a few non-traditional – Greek and Italian dishes for 30 years.
In a town like Anchorage, where restaurants breeze in and out like the blustery Chinook winds, family-owned Little Italy’s longevity speaks volumes about camaraderie and customer loyalty. Guests appreciate the care owner Spiros Gialopsos and his staff put into the ample plates of food – and also the attentiveness of the staff under the guidance of P.J. in the front of the house.
This is a place to go to enjoy the types of food that you might be too intimidated to try cooking at home. For me, that means diving into a large appetizer of spanakopita made with fresh sautéed spinach dotted with tangy feta, seasoned with herbs and onions, then wrapped in a blanket of flaky phyllo and baked until golden brown.
Moussaka is another one of my go-to dishes when dining out - one that I love to eat, but usually don’t have time to make at home. The version served at Little Italy uses seasoned beef rather than the more traditional ground lamb, but it still packs lots of flavor into the delicately spiced eggplant and gently baked béchamel-topped casserole.
Don’t dine at Little Italy if you’re the sort of person who insists on having all of your restaurant dishes plated with tweezers so they’re picture perfect every time. But if you enjoy quite ample portions of rustic, home-style Greek and Italian dishes, then Little Italy Restaurante definitely has you covered.
Select a bottle of wine from the small but carefully curated wine list or celebrate with a well-crafted cocktail from the full bar. (I can personally vouch for their superb, super-sized martinis.) Or you can do what my friend and I did during our recent dinner. We stayed with a homey theme and enjoyed a carafe of the nice house wine – and imagined we were dining in P.J. and Spiros Gialopsos’ kitchen. Opa!