The new and refreshed Waverly Place has been evolving to the point where it’s a must-visit destination for Cary locals. From Cinebistro to Taziki’s, Whole Foods and Whisk, there’s something great for the foodie inside of you! Back in 2014, Enrigo Italian Bistro had opened up and my first couple of visits were fair but not crazy impressive. But I had a friend who swore the place was now top-notch with their new chef so it was time for a re-visit to Enrigo Italian Bistro!
First if you’re eating at Enrigo it’s located in the lower back half of Waverly Place. So you can park in the front of the plaza and hoof it down some stairs or work your way to the less familiar back lot and stroll on in. Inside the place hasn’t changed much. Same great wrap-around covered patio up front and classic European cafe feel to the decor. Plenty of dark carved, wood chairs, along with a marble-top bar gives it that classic Continental feel.
It’s one of those wonderful North Carolina spring days so I grab a seat on the patio and peruse the menu. Pretty basic for lunch: salads, pastas, pizza. 15 or 20 items in the $9 to $15 range so it’s a touch pricey for lunch here at Enrigo. My friend shows up and now we’re ready to eat! As luck would have it, she’s a Cary local and a regular at Enrigo so our waiter goes into over-drive on our meal. We haven’t even ordered yet when some bruschetta and fried eggplant rounds show up at the table. The eggplant is great, layered with a bit of prosciutto and fontina cheese, woohoo!
We order up our lunch, I’m going with some pasta and a prosciutto panini to share. Looking around Enrigo it’s pretty empty at lunch time which is sort of silly given the great weather and their patio, boo! My friend tells me that Enrigo has brought their chef over from Italy and I’d have to guess our waiter is the real deal Italian, autentico. So expect the service to be a bit relaxed here, just like across the pond.
The mains come out and I’ve got a substantial plate of rigatoni amatraciana in front of me. It’s a tomato based sauce with smoked pork bathing the large pasta and speckled with cheese. A bite of the pasta shows off some cooking talent here! Super toothsome rigatoni with a densely flavored, pork undertone. It’s a really simple but well done example of Italian cooking. The panini also looks excellent, served on crusty bread and with some nicely roasted potatoes but I’ve got my mind on the pasta! My table-mate’s pizza looks great too, I nearly can’t see it underneath all her prosciutto!
We’ve ordered a lot so it doesn’t take long before I’m ready to tap out and ask for boxes. But of course our super-waiter can’t resist and brings us over dessert, some very nice tiramisu flecked with dark cocoa powder. And who am I to say no when it’s placed right in front of me?! (Excuses)
It’s been a super pleasant, delicious and relaxed meal here at Enrigo. I pay up the bill and thank our waiter, Alessandro. All I can say is that I’m am thankful that Enrigo has upped their game when it comes to Italian eats for Cary. While it was never bad, it’s now pretty much outstanding but I’ll need a return visit to confirm that thought. Until then, enjoy their great Italian cuisine, enjoy that patio and enjoy Enrigo over at Waverly Place!