Saturday, June 25, 2011

Very Special Family Dinner Night

June 25, 2011

Why was tonight's Family Dinner Night a special one? Because it was MY choice, and because tonight was the official grand opening of Giuseppe Gallo's restaurant. (They've been open all week, but all the fanfare was on today's date--the real deal opening.)

The place was beautiful and the tables were all full the whole time we were there. We were greeted at the door by the lovely hostess Courtney, who directed us to our seats. Our orders were taken by the very friendly and helpful waitress, Haley. Dean and Mama Carolyn stopped by to make sure we were being well-taken care of, and even Cheryl was able to break away to check in on us and give hugs and kisses all the way around. Even on opening night, packed as they were, everyone made us feel like they couldn't be happier to make our Family Dinner Night a memorable and enjoyable one.

But of course, atmosphere is nothing if the food doesn't live up to the hype. Let me tell you, the food was at least as wonderful as the people who cooked it and served it to us! We were definitely not disappointed.

We started out with the famous Gallo Chips as an appetizer. Bread, cheese, and smoky garlicky goodness. This is the perfect appetizer for our family. Nicholas especially loved the concentration of garlic in the toasty center, but he had to fight his little sister for it. I like it all on its own, and Doug loves to dunk it in the marinara sauce. No matter how you slice it, those Gallo Chips are sure to disappear quickly from the table!

Our meals came with soup or salad. The kids all got the salads, and I was impressed with how fresh and BIG each of those salads were. We should have known then that we were in trouble; there was no way we were going to be able to finish our whole meals. (Luckily, that means leftovers for tomorrow!)
I chose Minestrone Soup, and of course everyone just had to have a taste.
Doug's choice was Clam Chowder. This was amazing. Seriously. Doug was consciously eating slow, small bites just to make it last longer. I got to taste it, and I can't say I blame him. I have vowed to eventually eat my way through their menu, just so I can say I have tried everything. I'm pretty stoked that I didn't actually order this soup, because I can order it next time without breaking my 'rule' of not repeating menu items until I've tried them all.
Next came the entrees. Danielle ordered Nonna's Ravioli. Let me point out that this was the kid's-sized portion--more than plentiful and hearty. (We all shared and tasted each others' dishes, so I know that this ravioli was very satisfying.)

My dish was Linguine Alla Genoa--chicken, garlic, creamy tomato sauce with spinach. Oh my goodness, it was delicious! And what a huge serving!
Okay, so I lied a little. We didn't all share. Nicholas, my brave boy who equates spicy foods with being a manly man, decided to challenge himself with the Diavolo Burger. Loaded with jalepenos and Fresno chiles, this burger might be the one thing I decide to leave off my list when eating my way through the menu. Firey food just doesn't do it for me; I guess I don't feel the need to prove my manliness in that way. I am, as a matter of fact, decidedly un-manly. I'm okay with that. Sometimes Nicholas' ego is a little tougher than his stomach, but he muscled through--with the help of a lot of pomegranate lemonade. He made Haley earn her wage tonight just keeping him hydrated after downing most of the burger. Still, he loved it. This burger, though, be warned, is not for the faint of heart.

Doug and Bree both ordered the heaping serving of Paul's Lasagna. Rich, meaty sauce, gooey cheese, wonderful flavor. I know, because I just had to have a bite. Doug has been dying to try Paul's Lasagna since we saw it on the menu. You should be jealous, I'm telling you. Better yet, you should get yourself down to Giuseppe Gallo's and try something--anything--off of that menu!
With all of that food, you would think there was no way we'd have room for dessert. Oh, my friend, you would be wrong. (Those of you who are of my mindset know that there's always room for dessert, even if it means you might have to put some leftover food in a to-go box first.) Gelato anyone? One chocolate and one vanilla, and spoons all the way around. Perfect end to a perfect meal. Oh, we'll be back soon, believe me....

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