Nothing says, "Grand Opening," quite like rainbow colored triangular flags! It certainly made the restaurant easy to find.
I have often compared the outside of a restaurant to both a book's cover and the wrapping paper on a gift. Though we are told and try to not take the package into consideration, we are judging the appearance. It simply can't be helped. Since this restaurant is housed in a completely remodeled and gutted building that has been under construction for quite some time, I am especially anxious to get inside and check it all out.
Amazing. I really can't think of a better word. The staff were dressed. Really. A suit for the maitre d, white shirts, black pants and an air of confidence from all employees. Nice. However, for a moment I felt horribly under dressed in my denim capris and casual black top. We are greeted quickly and though table are available up front by the bar, we are walked back to the main dining area. I am able to quickly take a photo of one of the auxiliary dining rooms before it begins to fill with a large party of women.
Lovely. The decor is warm and inviting and we take in every detail. Fresh, new and clean can be quite impressive.
Drinks. Well, since I am the birthday girl, I start with a Cosmopolitan.
It may not be Italian, but to me it is classic. Wine lists, signature cocktails and a full bar are available.
We are told the evening's specials from appetizers to main courses and while we continue to decide are brought a variety of breads. Each of us is given a bread plate to which a young man squeezes a house seasoned olive oil When asked he shares the oils ingredients including parmesan cheese.
For some unknown reason, some dinners included a salad and those who qualified were given a choice between two dressings. The rest of us were not given the opportunity to add one at an added expense. I didn't mind but later found out a few members of our group may have had a salad if asked.
Next, the photo gallery of entrees:
The Mr.'s favorite - Chicken Marsala. However, he was disappointed to not have pasta on the side. It was not discussed when he ordered and he thought it was understood that pasta would be served. The chicken itself was quite flavorful and tender.
My Aunt ordered the Chicken Parmiagana and was quite happy to see the amount of spaghetti was not overwhelming. In fact, the platter sized plate included a higher ratio of protein to carbs.
Our older son had a chicken dish with red peppers, mozzarella and white wine sauce. He ate every bite.
Papperdelle. When I see it on a menu, it makes me smile. Who wouldn't want tender ribbons of pasta on their birthday?
Mushrooms, cream and topped with truffle oil, I am one happy celebrant.
A veal chop special for our younger son. It is stuffed with proscuitto among other ingredients, but it is the meat that attracts the man cub. The price was not discussed when the order was placed - neither by us nor the server. Later, I found out the price was about double of most of our other entrees. We should have asked. It does look like an elegant dish and again, every bite was eaten.
The above plate is lasagna. I know, it does not look like the traditional triple decker stack of curly edged noodles with layers of meat and choose. However, I did hear it was good. The reason the rating for dinner was only 4.5 out of 6 was this guests experience. Not a fan of calamari, not offered a salad, she was still hungry. Well, the silver lining is having a bit of room for dessert.
Cannolis. Freshly filled and plated with a bit of whimsy.
Tiramisu. I love the design in the sauce.
My birthday dinner draws to an end. I go around the table and ask everyone if they would return. I feel that is the true sign of a good restaurant and yes, I received 4.5 out of 6 thumbs up. The lasagna, the unknown reason for some dinners including a salad and the rest of us not offered to add one and the Mr.'s disappointment in his side dishes were the reason for the dropped rating. No one is perfect, but for a brand new restaurant still in the early days of celebrating a Grand Opening, we were Fed Well and would love to try some more dishes. Happy Birthday to me!