Going out to dinner with the girls is always fun. This time we stayed on our side of the river and dined at Neruda, an Italian restaurant that serves great Italian food with a southwestern twist. I must say that I really, really enjoyed the food; it is probably some of the best food I have eaten in a while.
While desserts aren’t my favorite, I just love appetizers, so I ordered the fried calamari – a true cooking test in my mind. If the amount of food I ate is any indication, the calamari was great! Tender, lightly breaded, golden, and simply delicious; the calamari couldn’t have been cooked any better. The dipping sauce was a departure from the normal marinara sauce. The mild taste of the Gouda cheese was a nice pairing for the calamari.
Caesar salad is always the salad of choice when I dine out. I must say that this was not my favorite part of the meal. While I always ask for light dressing on the salad, there was almost none on my salad this time. Even though the flavor was good, the salad was very dry.
For my dinner, I chose the Mare a Monte Pasta. It was soooo good. The sauce was light and flavorful, not heavy. The light sauce, made with white wine and garlic butter and finished with Asiago cheese, allowed the seafood to be the star of the show; mussels, clams, shrimp, and scallops. Tri-color pasta made for a nice presentation, and gave the dish dimension and depth.
The other girls ordered Pan Seared Boneless Half Chicken, Herb Encrusted Filet of Beef, and the Veal Portobello Ravioli. All enjoyed their dinners, and the evening was a success. It was a great start to a holiday season that was filled with joy and laughter. The new year is hear and it is almost time to go back to work and get back into the routines of life again. Enjoy your new year!