Mambo Italiano Cafe
1303 12th St.
Mon-Thurs 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Fri 11:00 AM - Midnight
Sat 11:00 AM - Midnight
Sun 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Since opening, Mambo Italiano Café has not had a quiet moment. On weekend evenings, a crowd is almost always clustered in front of the door. With classy retro décor, high brick ceilings, funky local artwork, and a plethora of chic-looking diners and staff, it feels like a 1950s bistro. The six outdoor tables that line the downtown Fairhaven sidewalk provide front row seats for people watching, and a tiny but inviting bar in the back of the restaurant looks like the perfect place to sip a glass of Merlot and have deep thoughts.
Besides the abundance of atmosphere, Mambo Italiano’s food also rates highly. The dinner menu lists each entrée in Italian, but descriptions are in English. The antipasti (appetizer and breads) range from French onion soup to bruschetta, described as "grilled slices of bread with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and seasonal toppings." One of the seasonal toppings turned out to be Italian ham. The pasta is the highlight of the menu. The luscious penne pasta with smoked salmon, cream sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts was an instant favorite.
The menu also features two kinds of lasagna, chicken fettucini, linguini, tortellini with four cheeses and New York Strip Steak. The steak is pan seared and then fire-deck roasted in the fire deck oven. Seafood items and chicken dishes are also on the menu. The lunch menu consists of mostly sandwiches and fire-deck roasted pizzas. The pizza is the substantial kind that requires a fork. The special oven used for pizzas does great things to the crust. The waiter informed me that Mambo’s fire deck oven is one of only a few in the Northwest. The flame can be controlled over a large surface, which allows food to be roasted evenly and makes both vegetables and meat tastier.
In downtown Fairhaven, near the corner of 12th and Harris streets in the brick building.
Beer and Wine | Dinner | Lunch | Outdoor seating
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