Restaurant da Ale is a casual family style Italian restaurant on West Wensan Road near Gudun Road. The friendly owners Louisa and her husband are both originally from Wenzhou but moved to Milan when they were teenagers. They’ve been working in Italian restaurants in Milan for 20 years and learned the trade there. They had a desire for their children to learn Chinese, so they moved back and recently opened this restaurant. While the husband cooks in the kitchen, Louisa takes care of the customers like an exuberant Chinese-Italian mama.
Flipping through the menu, I’m reminded of the food served at the cheerful little trattorie in Italy – tasty, filling food at bargain prices. There’s Misto di Frutti di Mare (Deep-fried seafood platter, 38RMB), 14 different pastas (32RMB average price), risottos (30-36RMB), pizzas (36-46RMB), Cotoletta alla Milanese (fried breaded pork cutlet, 38RMB), Petto di Pollo al Limone (lemon chicken breast, 48RMB), steaks and fish. They also bake their own bread which they’ll serve you before your food arrives and it’s very good.
Spaghetti Vongole (28RMB) was loaded with lots of plump clams on the shell and had a hint of spiciness, you could request more chillies if you like. If Louisa sees that the customer is non-Chinese she’ll make sure her husband cooks the pasta al dente and not soft as Chinese customers prefer.
Salmone con Limone (88RMB) was a gorgeous piece of fresh salmon cooked medium rare with lemon sauce. It was moist and almost sashimi-like in the middle, plated sliced and spread out like a fan. This dish would not be out of place in a much more expensive restaurant and they are generous with the portion size too.
For desserts, do try the creamy Tiramisu (28RMB) and the smooth and light Panna Cotta (22RMB). For drinks, there are beers, soft drinks, fruit juices, Italian liquors, wine and coffees.
With authentic Italian food at great prices in a friendly casual environment, Restaurant da Ale gets quite busy on weekday nights and weekends, reservations are recommended. The menu is in Italian and Chinese with pictures. Parking is available on the street.