Big taste, little place!
Price: $39 for two for dinner (not including tip)
Time: Sunday, 7 PM
Caffe Pasquale is located in a small strip mall off of the busy Black Horse Pike in Glendora, NJ. While not in the ideal scenic location, the interior is nicely decorated, but on the small side. The decor almost fools discerning patrons (such as my mom and I on this rainy Sunday evening) into thinking they are dining ‘al fresca’ with outdoor scenes painted on the walls and vines hanging overhead from the ceiling. There is a single small-sized dining room. The tables still had adequate room between them, but I could see how someone might feel slightly cramped if the dining room was packed. One especially nice touch in the dining room was a ‘window’ on one wall that overlooked part of the kitchen. The chef served completed orders through the ‘window’ onto a counter which the waitress then delivered to the appropriate table. The menu also claimed there was a large ‘party room’ available to rent for special occasions in the back of the restaurant which I was unable to verify because of the closed door.
Our waitress was very good. Food and drinks were served promptly. There was one waitress for the whole restaurant taking care of at least 5 tables the entire time we were there and acting as the hostess to see new arrivals. She was attentive and friendly despite being so busy.
Dinner began with 4 large pieces of fresh homemade garlic bread. The bread was not overly buttery and had large pieces of garlic on top. It was served warm and crispy soft in a basket. Both our dinners came with soup or salad. I ordered soup and my mom got a salad. The salad consisted of dark greens with fresh sliced tomatoes and cucumbers with creamy Italian dressing on the side. The salad was fresh and crisp. The dressing was good, but not any sort of spectacular homemade dressing like she had hoped (after eating the homemade garlic bread!). My chicken orzo soup was outstanding. The broth had a nice strong flavor and was filled with perfectly cooked vegetables (carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, etc.) and nice big pieces of chicken. There was not an abundance of orzo pasta, but I thought there was just enough. My mom also commented how good the soup was and I (of course) tried some of her salad. As an added bonus, the restaurant had root beer – a big plus for my mom!
Both our dinners had generous portion sizes. My mom ordered one of the night’s dinner specials: chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach in a garlic parmesan alfredo sauce. She, however, elected to have a regular marinara sauce instead of the alfredo. Her chicken was very good and even the sun-dried tomatoes tasted as though they may have been homemade. Her dinner came with a side of capellini (you can order any type of pasta) in marinara sauce. The marinara sauce was, again, homemade and well seasoned.
I ordered the chicken saltimbocca, a regular menu entree. All dinner entrees on menu (NOT including specials like my mom got) are $12.95 with soup or salad on Tuesday and Sunday. The chicken was topped with prosciutto and mozzarella cheese in a white wine and butter sauce. My compliments to the chef for the chicken – it was cooked to ‘melt in your mouth’ perfection. The sauce was very good, but slightly too buttery for my tastes (more wine!). I, not being a big ham lover, kept the prosciutto to pick off top and give to my mom, but was disappointed that most of the mozzarella cheese was attached to the prosciutto. That’s certainly not the restaurant’s fault, but worth mentioning. My mom said prosciutto had a very nice flavor and was not too salty. My entree came with a side of pasta as well. I ordered capellini which also came with marinara sauce. I forgot to request the pasta to have the same sauce as my entree, but I will remember to ask in the future.
We both ordered cannolis for dessert and they were delicious. It was just plain vanilla (no chocolate anything added) in a fresh, crisp pastry shell. The ricotta cheese was perfectly blended and smooth. Both were served on a chilled dessert plate with the entire plate (including spoon, but not the handle) dusted with powdered sugar. A cannoli included with my mom’s dinner special, but mine was extra. My mother also had hot tea with her dessert that she said ‘hit the spot.’
- Friendly and competent service
- Great food
- Unique decor
- Small dining area
- Inside was very chilly (bring a sweater and your fleece pants!)
Autumn’s Score: 4.5
Average Score: 4.5 Chews
Subjective Review: My new favorite local Italian restaurant!
Have you been to Caffe Pasquale? If so, please add your rating!
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