Opening in early 2015 in downtown Chagrin Falls, M Italian quickly became one of the more popular spots in town, and our recent visit shows that this is still the case.
Billing itself as a family-style Italian restaurant, it certainly backs that up. The atmosphere is lively and loud, much like the stereotypical large Italian family get-together at nonna’s (or something like that; sorry, my heritage is German). The interior is a sort of rustic-industrial mashup, with high ceilings and not much color accented by some old wood and an open kitchen (as well as a view into the glass-blowing shop next door). Although we had reservations, we still had to wait for a bit (in fairness, it was Friday at 6, so peak time).
The menu is traditional Italian (pizzas, pastas, salads), though many dishes have a bit of a non-traditional twist. The house bread is served as a communal loaf, hot out of the oven, alongside an herb/crushed tomato dipping oil. We started with the soup of the day, a delicious bean and sausage soup with just enough of a kick to provide some extra warmth (it was about 12 outside), and paired it with a chopped salad, topped with cucumbers, Kalamata olives, feta, tomato, and a mild pesto vinaigrette.
For a main, S had the chicken Marsala, a very nice take on the original, complete with roasted broccolini and a crunchy, gooey risotto cake. I opted for the Carbonara, thick noodles mixed with chicken, peas and pancetta all smothered in a rich, creamy egg sauce. Both were very good; nothing fancy, just good classic Italian food.
Dessert was a pleasantly light tiramisu, served in a small glass (as are all the desserts – nice idea to not have a huge dessert after a heavy dinner).
M Italian is definitely worth a visit – while there’s nothing overly flashy about it (except maybe the cars in the valet line), the food is solid, the service is solid (especially considering how busy it was), and the prices are very reasonable (our bill was under $50, no drinks). Probably not the best place if you’re looking to have a quiet conversation, but I wouldn’t be nervous about taking our loud 4-year old either.
Be sure to check out the happy hour from 3-6 every day as well!