A small, local restaurant with limited seating and a sophisticated "city" ambiance, Calogeros was always one of my go-to places since it first opened in 2002.
Whether a girls' night out, romantic evening or out with couples, for dinner or lunch, I have never been disappointed.
Much to my surprise, I became aware that Calogeros recently underwent an expansion and full renovation.
Now I don't know about you, but I have found holiday dinners out to be hit or miss when it comes to the quality, meal preparation consistency and service attention. Large parties, busy crowds and extra demands on the kitchen can result in less than favorable dining experiences than the average Friday or Saturday evening.
And generally speaking, price-fixed meals can be iffy, especially with the varying tastes of family members.
Transformed from a small Tuscan atmosphere, the new Calogeros is a welcoming, open space with white decor. The bar, which was formerly in the front, facing the main road, is now a large focal point located at the back, opening up to a private, outdoor dining patio.
I was particularly hungry as I did my best to minimize my food intake till our 4:30 dinner time, since I had all intentions of partaking in bread and pasta - my two favorite food groups!!
I started with the Pera mesclun greens, poached pears, prosiutto di parma, gorgonzola, candied walnuts, port wine vinaigrette (without the prosciutto and cheese - I know, I change everything).
I'm usually not a huge fan of mesclun greens, but these were fresh and yummy. The port wine vinaigrette was light and mixed well with the greens.
Sorry folks, I dug in way too fast and didn't grab a photo of my salad.
This was not the case at Calogeros! My penne was cooked to perfection and utterly delectable and I was happily accommodated with no prosciutto. Kelsey, 8, was happy that her request for penne and tomato sauce (not on the menu) was gladly fulfilled.
Mom went for the Papardelle Con Carne short rib ragu with ricotta cheese, which she completely savored. We also had some carnivores in the crowd with Tedd and Rebecca selecting the Filet Mignon. I was told by both that their meat was cooked exactly as requested - not an easy feat on a busy holiday. I was impressed!
Now, my Dad is never happy with his meal. He always has a complaint or an issue and so if he is happy, we know the restaurant is good! He was quite satisfied and happy with his Chicken Parmisiano.
Dessert was decadent and devine. Tartufo and Creme Brûlée were the popular ones at our table. However Rebecca and I went for the Tiramisu. Yes, it's a pattern here - Elisa eating too fast to snap a picture - but, I think it tells you something when there are no photos!!! It was luscious! I left nothing on my plate.
You know, my overall impression at the end of this absolutely enjoyable Mother's Day meal, was how everyone's request was fulfilled and presented as expected on such a busy holiday.