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Il Burloni's Dishes are Magnifico

A tiny restaurant hidden in a strip mall in Scott Township serves up fine Italian dishes.

Il Burloni is a dichotomy. It’s a quaint Italian cucina with old world charm stuck smack-dab in the middle of a strip mall at Scott Towne Center just off Greentree Road.

Corinne and Danielle Fortunato, the mother and daughter co-owners, took over the restaurant last April, keeping the name from the previous owner.

Corinne is a congenial and vivacious hostess, waving hello to everyone who enters. It’s tiny and a bit cramped, but soft amber walls add to that “Under a Tuscan Sun” ambiance. Lovely tchotchke’s adorn a high shelf above the diners and smiling servers swirl about, including co-owner Danielle waiting on tables.

Upon seating, a fresh basket of bread arrives with a coarse, chunky homemade hummus with fresh herbs. There is also extra virgin olive oil pooling on a small plate sprinkled with fresh basil.

First course was a warm beet salad interspersed with a mild goat cheese, softly melting onto the scarlet slices of beets. The root vegetable had a meaty taste, delicately balanced with the perfect amount of olive oil and Modena Balsamic vinegar, a smattering of fresh basil and a hint of peppercorn. It’s BYOB at Il Burloni, and there is a $5 corking fee.

One of the house specials was a Salmon Puttanesca, a liberal portion of salmon in a light tomato sauce surrounded with capers and olives. The fish was flaky and tender, complimented by the briny caper and olive combination. It was accompanied by a petite pile of warm spinach, glistening with olive oil. This fish dish would pair well with a 2008 La Crema Chardonnay.

Another delicious entrée was the eggplant pappardelle. The large flat noodle enveloped in a thick red sauce with hunks of tomato and melt-in-your-mouth morsels of eggplant and covered with molten mozzarella and a scattering of fresh basil. The noodle was just the right consistency.

Dinner was capped off by a delicious dessert, a homemade spumoni. The ice cream contained chunks of cherries and nuts, dusted with powdered sugar. There was a slight ribbon of fudge and light citrus overtones. A fine finish to a splendid meal.

If you go, make sure to bring wine and your wallet. It has a moderately priced ala carte menu, but one that is well worth the cost.

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