**** (4 stars)
This is one of the better Italian restaurants in Evanston, despite the confusing name that makes it sound like it’s a coffee place. They do indeed have good espresso, but it really is an Italian cafe.
I tried two specials of the day. The first was the “artichoke fritters” which weren’t actually fritters, but lightly battered artichoke pieces deep fried. A better choice was the mussels in cream sauce. These were nicely done, and the cream sauce was delicious without being too heavy. A basket with two types of bread was provided, and one of them proved perfect for dipping in the leftover sauce.
There is a thoughtful list of wines by the glass, including many Italian selections, and the pours are generous.
A macchiato was the perfect way to finish off the meal.
La Macchina Cafe
1620 Orrington Ave
Evanston, IL 60201