I’m Hot for Hot Italian
One of my absolute favorite spots in Midtown is Hot Italian.
It is without a doubt my most desired Italian restaurant in Sacramento. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the occasional trek to Carmichael’s hidden treasure, Pasquale’s, or another Carmichael favorite, Matteo’s, or perhaps even one of Midtown’s go-to Italian eateries, Paesanos.
However, Hot Italian has captured my heart and taste buds in ways that are hardly attainable by any of the other restaurants listed above.
Located at the corner of 16th and Q, Hot Italian does not limit itself to being merely a restaurant – they are also a bar, gelato shop, and an Italian motors and Gear shop specializing in Italian street sportswear and accessories for cyclists, car, motorcycle and scooter-enthusiasts. I know it sounds strange…but that’s part of its charm!
Though many go for their pizza, most of their menu items are offered in a panini, salad or calzone version, providing many options to choose from. What I like and appreciate most about Hot Italian is their authentic Italian style thin-crust pizzas and their unconventional ingredients ranging from the Gattuso with pumpkin puree, smoked mozzarella, fresh parsley and sage oil, to the Bova with tomato sauce, roasted eggplant, mozzarella, goat cheese, and my personal favorite, Fiori with tomato sauce, mozzarella, arugula, mushrooms, prosciutto parma, truffle oil (I like to substitute the tomato sauce for pesto).
If my reason’s above have not successfully enticed you to try Hot Italian (or just go there again if you’ve already been there), I must share with you the absolute highlight of my Hot Italian experience; their chili oil. If you appreciate a little heat, it’s a must try!
I must warn you though – once you’ve tried Hot Italian’s chili oil, no other will ever compare. That means every time you have chili oil that is not Hot Italian’s, you will be slightly disappointed. It’s kind of like having Debbie Downer at the table every time you eat a meal with non-Hot Italian chili oil. (Note: I won’t say how I know this, but there is a rumor that if you simply ask your waiter/waitress if you could purchase a bottle, you might be able to go home with your very own bottle of Hot Italian’s chili oil). If Hot Italian wants to get smart, they will start selling bottles of their chili oil alongside their motorcycles.
Hot Italian has everything I want, all wrapped up into one amazing restaurant. Delicious food, unconventional ingredients, delightful service and staff, great wine list, very affordable corkage fee (only $10), appealing atmosphere, take-out options and an affordable menu.
If I was forced to find something to complain about, I would say that their chairs accompanying the tall tables could stand to be a bit more comfortable (they start to hurt your tush after a while!). Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing caprese added to their menu.
Have a favorite Italian restaurant that you think beats Hot Italian? Please send me an email at bethanyhillSacMidtown@gmail.com telling me where and why.
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