Tucked into the backside of a strip mall on Chandler St, Caffe Espresso Trattoria is very easy to miss. To find it, you’ll need to pull into the plaza with the Rite Aid pull around the side. The place is actually decent sized, seating a decent amount of people for being in a strip mall. The atmosphere is minimal, not too bright, and not too dark, and the place is very simply decorated, though it did seem a tad noisy.
We started with the Italian staple, bread, and oil. The bread was very good, light and fluffy with a nice crust and very fresh. The oil was plain and unflavored, but once I added some red pepper flakes and grated cheese (both right on the table) it was quite nice.
For an appetizer, I had Bruschetta Mushroom, a special and not normally on the menu, though I think it should be. It was nicely sized, plenty for one and just enough for two to share. The mushrooms were cooked nicely, they were tender but still had some texture to them, and they held up to the oil, tomato, and cheese perfectly. Overall, it was nice and light, not too filling, and very enjoyable. My meal also came with soup and I chose the minestrone. I found the soup to be a little different than I’m used to, a little less tomato based, more carrots and chickpeas, but it was very good. The vegetables were cooked great, tender but again with enough texture and just the right amount of seasoning. Again, this was quite light and not too filling, overall an excellent soup.
For my main course I had the Chicken All’ Arrabiata (Sauteed chicken breast with peperoncini peppers, onions and mushrooms in a spicy white wine garlic sauce), served over the house made cavetelli pasta. The pasta is homemade on the premises and was very fresh. It was cooked perfectly, just a little al dente and it held the sauce of the dish very well. The chicken was pounded thin and lightly breaded and tender enough to cut with a fork. The sauce was similar to a Marsala, light and had a great kick to it from the peperoncini peppers, without being too hot. Overall, an excellent dish if you like just a little heat and a lighter sauce.