CAFE CAPRI – BYOB (2ND REVIEW)
Last night, exactly nine months after our most recent visit we were back at this almost local eatery in Williamstown, NJ. In October there were just four of us but last night all eight of our Friday night diners were present and accounted for.
My wine for the evening was a 2004 Three Miners, Pinot Noir, Earnscleugh Valley, Central Otego, New Zealand. I picked this one up at the Wine Library up in Springfield, NJ and I would have to say I was a little disappointed. There was very little on the nose and it took awhile for it to open up in the glass before finally revealing some muted cherry and soft lilac. There are much better Pinots available at the price of this one.
The menu at Cafe Capri is pretty extensive and they even have six or seven additional specials each evening. Our server, Dan, suggested we start with a couple of table-size appetizers and we agreed on a plate of bruschetta, which naturally, Jerry C. would have ordered even if not prompted, and a plate of crab bites, which I had been planning to split with my wife, Kathy, had we not gone for the larger offering. The bruschetta was as I remembered it from last time; a decent offering with fresh tomato, basil and pecorino romano cheese on a very crisp toasted crouton. The crab bites were tasty enough but they obviously came from a package of frozen seafood from the local supermarket as their completely uniform shape was a dead giveaway. We have to deduct a few points for lack of creativity for this one which appeared on the night’s “special” menu.
The item pictured on the left is NOT my entree which was the Capellini Positano, tossed with garlic, basil and jumbo crab meat. It is rather Tom T.’s Linguine Al Sapore di Mare, in which he had substituted capellini for the linguine and which was placed in front of me and looked almost exactly like mine. Tom was right on top of it and spotted the mistake before I could plunge my fork into the tempting dish. I passed on a photo of mine when it did arrive because the two plates looked identical. I am happy to report that I totally enjoyed my dish. The capellini was perfect, the sauce, absolutely delicious and the crab meat, generous and nicely prepared. I had the remainder of it at home tonight for dinner and it was every bit as good as it was last night. Tom T., on the other hand, was picking out the scallops from his dish and did not seem as pleased as I was.
Jerry C. ordered the “fish of the day” which was tilapia, in a basil and pesto sauce smothered with mussels. I didn’t spot the tilapia until he had devoured a several of the mussels. There was also some shrimp surrounding the fish and he seemed to enjoy it although he did not feel that the sauce resembled in flavor any pesto sauce he had experienced prior.
Sue C. ordered the Vitello Limone, medallions of veal, sauteed with shallots, shiitake mushrooms, and green onions in a limocello sauce. When I looked to her for her comments on the dish she simply kissed her fingers and gave it a big A-OK. Most of the other dishes did not fare as well.
The two dishes above belonged to Joe and Carol B. I honestly don’t remember who had which, or what they were called on the menu. I do know they were both chicken dishes and neither Joe or Carol were overly impressed. Carol defined hers as having “too much gobbledygook” and Joe didn’t care for all the “gaga”. As you can see, both Joe and Carol have a way with words and a possible future career as food writers. I think the translation was that the sauce overpowered the meat but, what do I know.
Barbara T. had the entree on the right but I also can’t remember what that was either, Obviously my own career as a food writer is in serious jeopardy. I may edit this review later when I get more info on those last few dishes. Overall, it was one of the most hit and miss dinners I can remember. I totally enjoyed by meal, several others thought it was fine but a few had serious reservations. Anyway, as usual, we still managed to have a nice evening and hopefully, next week will find us doing this all over again with me taking better notes on who ate what.