Zaffino’s by Nori is not the type of place I should go a couple of years between visits, but, given its Sherwood location, I sadly hadn’t made my way back to the restaurant in a long time. It’s a poor excuse, really, to not drive 20 minutes each way for great Italian food.
But guess what?
After last Saturday night, I can safely say Zaffino’s is still one of the best Italian restaurants in Central Arkansas. Nothing about the food, atmosphere, décor, and service has changed … and I mean that as a compliment. For those who have never been, Zaffino’s is a family restaurant that’s nice enough for a date night but casual enough to take the kids on a Friday evening. The menu isn’t overly expansive, but is filled with reasonably priced, traditional dishes like Eggplant Parmesan, Lasagna, Veal Marsala, and Fettuccini Alfredo.
Apparently, I made a mistake by not starting with the calamari appetizer (as suggested by a few readers), but my Caesar salad, which came with crisp Romaine lettuce, light dressing, and small croutons, really hit the spot.
For my entrée, I opted for the Tortellini con Fungi, a simple bowl of cheese tortellini with shreds of prosciutto and sautéed mushroom, all melded together with a perfect Alfredo sauce. I absolutely loved the tortellini, so much so, that I wiped the bowl clean with the complimentary bread. It wasn’t an enormous serving of pasta, but I actually appreciated this about all of the dishes at Zaffino’s, especially given the affordable prices (our plates ranged from $13-$17).
My bite of the Italian Sausage and Mushrooms was just as good as I remembered it. Chunks of sweet Italian sausage, mushrooms, fresh basil, and a light cream sauce make this dish a must-order, although I can’t sing the same praises about the Chicken Cannelloni, which had just an overall heavy taste.
The service was warm and attentive, which came as no surprise.
If you’ve never been to Zaffino’s, I highly recommend trying it out. And if it’s been a while, I suggest getting back up to Sherwood.
Zaffino’s by Nori
2001 E Kiehl Ave in Sherwood
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11am-8pm; Friday 11am-9pm; Saturday 4pm-9pm; Closed Sunday and Monday