Last visit: February 2014
February 2014 update: It looks like we skipped going to Italian Bistro all of 2013, and I haven't updated this since the original posting in 2009. Not sure why that happened, as Italian Bistro is certainly one of the better Italian restaurants in this area, though very similar the others in its culinary approach (the Cafe Italia and 90% comments below still hold). I think we need to make more of an effort to drive up north to Roanoke for Italian. It is very good. Other updates from the below: 1) I never did get a Knoxville/Asheville guide up, consistent with other "good intentions" postings that didn't come to fruition; 2) C&A Deli is long gone, and they moved south Keller and is now called Tirelli's Deli (and is also featured in this blog).
More delays to the blog. Mrs. RJG and I just returned from the Great Smoky Mountains. With any luck at all, I'll put together a little restaurant guide from Knoxville, Asheville and points between. ED: Of course I didn't get to it :-(
One Italian place the RJG hasn't written about, but is quite popular amongst many in NE Tarrant County is Cafe Italia in Grapevine (actually they have two locations in Grapevine). We've been to Italian Bistro in Roanoke twice now, and I could swear this is Cafe Italia's third location. Without having an opportunity to interview the owner, I would be willing to testify there's a connection or shared ownership involved here.
It's been awhile since we wandered up north to Denton County and their little SW outpost of Roanoke. We last mentioned the town in the C&A Italian Family Deli almost a year ago. For the wife and I, it feels like a trip out in the country, and even though the area is truly a bedroom community, Roanoke has gone to great lengths to make it seem like an old, small rural Texas town. Babe's and The Classic Cafe are its most famous daughters, but the other restaurants are well worth visiting too.
Like 90+% of the Italian restaurants in the area, Italian Bistro are Balkan owned and share many similarities with their restaurant brethren. Honestly there's not much about the food I can speak to that I haven't already covered here or here or here and a few others. So it's a matter of location / convenience basically. Even though Italian Bistro might not be the most original of Italian restaurants in our area, for what they do, they do it right. It's a pleasant restaurant, with good service, and consistently good (and hot) meals.
One other observation: On both our recent visits, we noticed at least two separate parties of women (all ages). Italian Bistro seems to be the restaurant of choice for girls-night-out! So ladies, you might want to consider it for your next restaurant venture. Besides, it's nice to get out into the country once in awhile.
You'll find Italian Bistro on Byron Nelson Blvd, east of US 377 (go through old town if coming from NE Tarrant and turn right at the end of the street).