Café Di Roma, an Italian bistro with a healthy-heart menu, is now open in Imperial Beach.
Owners Robert and Mary Jabalee focus on an old-world Italian menu filled with health-conscious food, savory tastes and reasonable prices.
It’s a small Italian jewel of a restaurant tucked directly behind the Union Bank between Ninth Street and Palm Avenue.
“We have dishes that are leaner, greener, lighter. They have less fat, fresher vegetables and less calories,” said Robert.
The menu varies and is filled with traditional pasta, paninis and special salads topped with homemade lemon nectar vinaigrette salad dressing.
The foccacia bread and panini bread is homemade and is mixed with an organic milled flax seed, which contains less oil.
“We combine old-world culinary traditions with new-world lifestyle trends to bring you beautiful and healthier Italian cuisine,” Robert said.
For more than 40 years, Mary’s parents owned Marco’s, the only family-run Italian restaurant in Coronado. After the Jabalees moved Marco's to Norman, OK. for a 10 year stint, they returned to IB, and opened Café Di Roma
With Mary’s family background filled with chefs, and Robert’s long background in the hospitality industry, they decided to bring Café Di Roma to IB.
“We love the IB and Coronado area,” Robert said. “Imperial Beach is very business friendly and we sense a business excitement in the atmosphere. We hope to be a positive contributor of this trend.”
IB City Councilwoman Lorie Bragg is just one of the many customers who enjoyed what she calls a “light version” of what Marco’s had to offer. “The food is presented well, and it is absolutely delicious,” according to Bragg.
After trying the Chicken Parmigiana, Bragg said, “I almost screamed. It was springtime after I tasted it.”
Robert said that he and his wife will not compromise the quality of food.
“We know of no other business offering what we make from scratch and we are offering a restaurant that is making food healthier. We love food, and we love the people,” said Robert.