(We know what we like)
By Cecily & Frederick Faux Gras
And Nick & Patsy Fagioli
(The Amateur Palate, written exclusively for Pawling Public Radio, features local restaurant reviews by four people who just like to eat. They claim no professional food knowledge, but “know what they like,” and hope their opinions will encourage others to try new food establishments and different food pairings.)
A few weeks ago we paid a long over-due visit to Abruzzi’s Trattoria on Route 22. Usually, there is a wait on a Saturday night, but since we are approaching seasoned citizens age, we arrived before 5:30, just before the crowds.
We enjoyed our beverages and munched on fresh hot bread served with seasoned olive oil for dipping while waiting for our appetizers. On this visit, we choose an antipasto and a Mediterranean Vegetable Napoleon to share. The antipasto consisted of pieces of fresh mozzarella and Parmesan, dried sausage, cippolini onions, roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, olives and marinated eggplant. The vegetable Napoleon was layers of marinated and grilled eggplant, sliced tomato, roasted red peppers and fresh mozzarella. The balsamic dressing drizzled over the top was just the right amount and did not over power the fresh tastes of the cheese or vegetables.
Our house salads arrived with a nice crisp mix of greens, and fresh, tasty dressings.
For entrees, Nicky ordered the Lasagna, which he enjoyed thoroughly, saying it was “just like momma’s.” Patsy ordered the Roasted Salmon served with Israeli couscous, spinach, grape tomatoes and a pesto butter sauce. She was very pleased with the way the salmon was prepared, and said the couscous was a perfect accompaniment.
Frederick ordered the evening’s risotto special, which included Filet Mignon tips He was happy with the flavors and the consistency of the risotto. I enjoyed the Eggplant Parmesan, a favorite of mine. After the antipasto and the salad, I wound up taking half of it home. Dessert consisted of pistachio gelato for two of us and an ice cream Sunday for Nicky.
All in all, we were very pleased with our meals. Abruzzi’s menu is not too large as to confuse the diner, but big enough to offer a variety of tasty selections with many of the classic dishes one would expect at an Italian trattoria. Their pizza is one of if not the best around.
Abruzzi’s attracts a lively bar crowd, and the food has always been good whenever any of us has visited. The service is always accommodating and friendly. We had often heard in the past that patrons thought the dining room was too loud. The owners have tried to fix the acoustics by draping fabric on the ceiling and putting up wall hangings. Although you can’t have a quiet, intimate conversation, we found the atmosphere very comfortable and enjoyed our evening immensely.
3191 Route 22