Do not confuse this place with other places named Joe's in the Dallas area. This is a full-blown restaurant and bar, not a pizza/sandwich shop (though they do have crisp thin Italian-style pizza). Went with a friend on a Saturday night for some appetizers, wine, and conversation...and happily managed to work in all three. The service was very good and we relied on Tony, our waiter, for suggestions. Glad we did. They have a full bar, and a decent though small wine list. Tony's wine suggestion was much better than it had a right to be for less than 20 bucks. I love snails, and the escargot were garlicky and delicious and not at all rubbery which happens if they are over-cooked. These were tender and perfectly happy swimming in the garlic butter. The steamed mussels in white wine sauce were also tender, and their version of a Caprese salad was tasty even in February...the chef used Roma tomatoes which held up well to the pesto and mozzarella.
A basket of bread was served warm; the small loaf was crusty on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Didn't need it but the European style butter was a nice touch. We were going to stop at 3 appetizers and the bread, but I'm a sucker for gnocchi and when Tony mentioned it's made fresh daily, well, what's a girl to do? So my friend and I split an order. I wanted "red gravy" like Grandma Mancini used to make (Joe's makes a lovely fresh tasting tomato sauce that I could eat on anything and everything!), and my friend wanted to try the creamy gorgonzola sauce. No problem; Tony said they could put tomato sauce on half and the cheese sauce on the other half. He also split the salad onto two plates without being asked. The gnocchi was tender and soft and pillowy and just about melted in my mouth. My friend and I seriously debated another order, but we wanted to save room for dessert.
A good cannoli is hard to find, and four really good cannolis for $2.95 are harder to find...they were freshly made, nice and crisp (not at all soggy like pre-filled ones are), and just sweet enough with a light dusting of powdered sugar. We each ate one and each took one home; I made sure to tell my husband I was bringing one home for him so I wouldn't be tempted to eat it in the car on the way back to McKinney. Yes, it was that good.
Have been hoping to find a nice quiet little Italian restaurant that served wine (full bar is a bonus, too), with good "red gravy" and fresh pasta, and this is definitely that place.
It is worth making a special trip to Addison just for that heavenly gnocchi...I can't wait to try the lamb shank and the bresaola, and the sole sounded delicious, and so did the romano crusted pollo...my husband doesn't know it yet but I predict many visits to Joe's Italian Cafe.
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