phone rings | chanda: hello? | atmosphere: date night calling...
chanda: date night? is that really YOU playa?!
"Tu sei il sole del mio giorno" - you are the sunshine of my day
Ahhh, it's so good to be back talking about good food with you guys - especially since it's been forEVA since hubby and I have gone out by ourselves! I wasn't playing when I said that I wanted to bring this series back, so today, we are going to be taking a dive into a newer restaurant in the Troy area. I knew that I wanted to try a new spot over this past weekend but did not plan it out, so I turned to good ol' Google and I must say, it did not let me down!
It didn't take me long to decide where we were going when searching - I knew I wanted to try something different. Whenever we go out to dinner, we rarely do Italian, so when I came across Cantoro (located in Troy, MI) I was sold!  I have to apologize in advance for the photo quality, I did not want to bring my camera into the restaurant when it was super busy and disrupt anyone dining, so iPhone footage is what we have.  

Let's go ahead and get our fashion out of the way :) We chose to dress down because we weren't quite sure what kind of restaurant Cantoro was.  When we tried Mad Hatter Bistro, I did TONS of research before we went, but this was so spur of the moment, I wasn't prepared for anything!

hubby | jacket + jeans: sean john, macy's || tee: champs || shoes: jordans, concord 11, nike

me | jacket + bag: justfab || jeans: old || top: house of rehab (not avail, but try these) || shoes: shoedazzle

We were dressed kind of in the middle:  there were some folks that were dressed up and some that were dressed down, so it was comfortable.  This restaurant is pretty amazing and one great blurb that we learned is that this space is owned by the San Marino Club, which is more commonly known as an events venue.  Back in my bridal salon days, we attended a bunch of bridal shows here. Cantoro is one of their tenants and is treating this space especially well!
I wish I could have like 2 hours in this place empty to capture the beauty of it on camera!  I was extremely surprised by the decor and ambiance of the space.  I was going into this thinking it was going to be your usual Italian restaurant, riddled with heavy rustic decor and murals, but this space was super modern with touches of Italian heritage.

When you first walk in, you are greeted by authentic Italian foods and wines for sale, like a little marketplace to the left and to the right - absolutely beautiful!!! From the wooden chandelier to the wine crate enclosed office and a beautiful staircase that leads to one of their event spaces. I didn't get a chance to photo their event spaces since they were occupied, but when I go back, I plan on (so stay tuned for an update).
The vibe of the main dining area was just AHHHH!  Such beauty - there's plated wall art, a few wine racks, both closed and open, a fireplace, the light display over dining, the bar - SO much to keep you intrigued with how the place looks!  The windows are tall and outside is a canopy and I believe outside dining ) it was dark when we went, so I didn't get to explore the grounds.  

This was such a relaxing and inviting space, especially with the fireplace and mood lighting.  There were more art displays and culture pieces to share, but this post would have been super long with photos.  I promise, next time guys! :)

The real reason we are here, right?  There was such a diverse Italian menu - I feel like I really should have studied the menu before we arrived.  I am in no way fluent in Italian cuisine, so it took me a little while to decide what to order since some of it is in actual Italian.  While waiting to order, our host Eddie, brought out some bread and olive oil/vinaigrette mix.  My husband ordered bruschetta with sausage and cheese for an appetizer, which was pretty tasty.  We dont usually drink wine/alcohol, so hubby opted for water (then Sprite eventually) and I had San Pellegrino water.

You want to hear a funny story? I spent at LEAST 20 mins going over the menu, reading and re-reading the descriptions of each dish JUST to end up with pizza! LOL I felt like such a lame not stepping out of my comfort zone with dinner, but we had a really heavy brunch (chicken and waffles from Kuzzo's), so I wanted something lighter and that was easy to package up and take home.

I went with their Margherita pizza (tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and extra virgin olive oil) and when I tell y'all this was the BEST Margherita pizza that I've ever eaten!! Eddie really listened to what I asked - I asked him for his recommendation and told him that I liked sweeter sauces (so Margherita was already on my radar), but he recommended this one, along with another one that had sausage and veggies on it. This one was PERFECTO! 

Hubby normally likes steak - BIG steak! Whenever I plan for us to go somewhere, I make sure that there is some kind of steak on the menu. Eddie, again, gave his recommendations with the Grilled Veal Rib Chop and then someone's order came out. His eyes became as big as that chop and he went for it! I am happy that he did, it was SO good! It cut like butter and melted in your mouth. The veggies and potatoes were seasoned to perfection - an overall great plate!

As with your normal mid to upscale restaurant, you can expect to pay for your meal, service, etc. Cantoro was actually not priced as high as I thought they would be. I don't remember the price of the appetizer since it's not on the online menu, but my pizza says it was $13, but I believe the price has changed to $17 and hubby's plate was $46 (you see who the expensive person is in our household, LOL). Overall, our bill came to around $80 and we tipped Eddie generously for his awesome recommendations and excellent service. Take a glance at the menu if you're in the market for a new Italian restaurant!

Cantoro in Troy absolutely exceeded my expectations, especially being an on the fly restaurant choice. We didn't have a reservation when we went (which I would recommend), but the staff accommodated us and didn't throw us in a corner to eat. Everyone was super nice and the food was perfect! This is a mid to upper scale restaurant, so expect to pay for your food and service and I have to say, it's well worth it! I am already planning to go back so that I can get some photos in natural light and hopefully visit their event spaces. Cantoro has so much to offer to the public and I think they are doing quite well for not even having a full year under their belts. Thank you Cantoro for this memory - most certainly will be back!

Check out more of my GOOD EATS series!  
If you are local and have a recommendation, jot it down below!  Thanks for stopping by!