Toast to spring
Francesca’s Al Lago, 111 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The bruschetta asparagi e finocchietto brings the first treats from the garden to the plate, with grilled asparagus, onion, fennel and goat cheese.
Round and righteous
Cento, 122 W. Mifflin St.
Arancini, the fried cheesy risotto balls currently taking America’s menus by storm, are perfectly executed at Cento.
Cafe Porta Alba, 558 N. Midvale Blvd. at Hilldale
The Parma antipasti plate centers on prosciutto di Parma, parmacotto (Italian ham), mozzarella, mixed greens and kalamata olives. With starters like this, who needs pizza? But order one anyway.