Cafe has Italian fare for all tastes

Restaurant profile

Howard Live

April 11, 2002|By Jody K. Vilschick | Jody K. Vilschick,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Olive Leaf Cafe calls itself the "Little Italy of Mount Airy." The restaurant, owned by Tami Klosko and her parents, Steven Klosko and Patricia Clark, offers a range of Italian dishes, as well as some traditional American entrees.

"We really consider ourselves Italian-American, Tami Klosko says. "We're not strictly Italian - our menu offers something for everyone."

Among the traditional Italian entrees are manicotti, lasagna, ravioli, garden stuffed shells (shells stuffed with finely diced zucchini, carrots, onion and spinach with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, topped with a creamy tomato sauce) and penne florentine (penne pasta tossed with spinach, tomato sauce, ricotta and parmesan cheese).

The cafe's "regional features" include Chicken Alfredo Florentine (chicken breast sauteed with spinach and artichoke hearts, tossed with homemade alfredo sauce, topped with melted Swiss cheese and served over fettuccine), Chicken Champagne (chicken breast sauteed with fresh mushrooms, diced green peppers and carrots tossed with a champagne cream sauce) and Cajun Shrimp and Chicken (gulf shrimp and chicken breast sauteed and tossed with a Cajun alfredo sauce).

A variety of pizzas are also on the menu: Athens style (olive oil and spices, garlic, feta and mozzarella cheeses, green and black olives, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and capers), mixed seafood (white clam sauce, gulf shrimp, sea scallops, garlic butter, provolone and Monterey jack cheeses) and ricotta white (diced tomatoes, fresh broccoli, ricotta cheese, spices, garlic butter, provolone and Monterey jack cheeses), as well as more traditional, you-choose-the-topping pizzas.

The restaurant offers mix-and-match meals, in which diners can select their favorite Italian dishes and their choice of meat or seafood.

Pair veal, chicken, shrimp or eggplant with the Milan (sauteed in cream, butter, broccoli, mushrooms and bacon and served over fettuccini), Saltimbocca (sauteed with proscuitto, cream and whole grain mustard, served over linguini), Picotta (sauteed with white wine and capers in a lemon butter sauce, served with linguini with alfredo or tomato sauce), Parmigiana (breaded in Italian seasonings, topped with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella and served with a side of linguini) or Marsala (sauteed in creamy butter, Marsala wine and mushrooms and served with a side of linguini with either red or alfredo sauce).

When the weather warms up, the Olive Leaf Cafe offers outdoor seating. "It's open any nice day, but it's more regularly open after Mother's Day," Tami Klosko says.

Although the restaurant has been serving customers since 1990, she and her parents will celebrate their first anniversary as owners next month.

Tami worked in the restaurant for more than 10 years before buying it. "I started as a server when I was in college," she says. "I fell in love with the restaurant and the restaurant business."

Despite the new ownership, don't expect to see any changes. "Everything was already perfect," Klosko says. "We don't plan on changing anything."

Olive Leaf Cafe

Where: Twin Arch Shopping Center, 1001 Twin Arch Road, Mount Airy; 410-795-0700;

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 9:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday brunch.

Prices: $7.95 to $18.95.

Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diner's Card and Discover.

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