On a Friday the First of July 2022, Neighbor Roy and I enjoyed lunch at North Italia at the north end of La Encantada Mall in the Foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The first thing we noticed is that there was no parking near the entrance. So I asked Roy to let me out and go park my car, which he gladly did. I had made a reservation for 12:30 PM so was seated immediately. Roy soon joined me.
Our server arrived to take our drink and appetizer orders. Roy of course ordered, you guessed it … hot tea. I, of course, ordered a margarita, but this time a SICILIAN MARGARITA ($el mayor reposado, grand marnier, montenegro, fresh citrus. Well, it just sounded really good. Why not?
Then we ordered our appetizer, CRISPY CALAMARI ($arugula & grilled lemon vinaigrette. That sounded really good, too. But soon our server returned to our table to explain the deep fryer was on the fritz … so no calamari today. Sad!
Oh well, Roy ordered the SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS ($traditional tomato sauce, basil, olive oil, pecorino cheese.
I ordered THE PIG ($spicy pepperoni, soppressata, Italian sausage.
Roy can tell you about his experience.
“Today we visited the North Italia on Skyline. Drive. It is a large restaurant, but parking is a bit of a problem for the elderly or infirmed.
Inside is an industrial motif, very large. What is immediately evident is the large wait staff–and from what I could see of the kitchen, it was also well staffed. Once seated the menus were promptly presented by a smiling young lady. She explained that this restaurant serves cuisine from the 3 separate regions of Italy.
We ordered an appetizer of fried calamari–a long-time favorite of ours. Having had a lot of dental surgery, and while I longed for pizza–caution made me order spaghetti and meatballs.
Within minutes, the waitress returned to tell us the deep fryer was not working and offered other choices, which we politely declined. Shortly afterward, my bowl I had ordered was served. After my first bite, I fell in love with the dish–no ordinary pasta here–it was freshly made, firm, and a heavenly taste only outdone by the sauce, clearly–real tomatoes had been used in the preparation of this dish. I remember the multitude of Italian restaurants in the multiple cities in which I had lived back east–this restaurant could hold its own against the best of them.
I had been unable to finish my lunch, borrowed a piece of pizza from Jim and went to get the car–I forgot my lunch sack and by the time I got back, the efficient staff had cleaned our table Can my last trip to the happy farm be closer than I thought?”
Roy gave North Italia a four saguaro rating, and so do I. My pizza was also very good indeed, as was my Sicilian Margarita.
It was a bit noisy. We could have sat outside on the balcony overlooking Tucson, but it was hot and humid out, so we put up with the interior noise.
2995 E Skyline Drive (top Level La Encantada in the back)
Tucson, AZ 85718
You can book reservations on Open Table.