Angie and I had a date night on Saturday. Date nights for us are few and far between. They typically present a dilemma for us. The decision to go out to eat isn't the dilemma - where to eat is.
Since we don't go out often, we typically go to our standards and favorites. Usually, I will allow Angie the honor and we'll do the Blue Goose Cantina so she can get a fix of her favorite enchiladas. I'll get fajitas and we'll both enjoy a margarita or beer.
We're usually both stuffed and contented. Add a movie rental and some cuddling while we watch said rental and we're happy.
However, once in a while we'll stray off the path. In the past, our straying has led to Japanese buffet (not so good), and Wiener Schnitzel and Strudel at a local German restaurant (VERY good). Sometimes we'll sample a local new restaurant.
The one thing on which I feel strongly is that there is a real dearth of good Italian in our area. Angie likes Campisi's and Taste of Italy, but in my opinion, they both suck. In fact, not only is the Italian not good here, but the pizza sucks pretty bad, too. I'm from a part of the country where Pizza is made by guys with first names like Vito, Sal, or Guido. Last names vary, but typically end with a vowel.
I'm not saying there aren't Italian guys here in Texas. I am saying that there isn't good Italian food here. Angie thinks I've become a bit of a snob. Perhaps she's right. All I know is that I know what I like and I know what is good. For example, we tried a brand new Italian restaurant last night. We had salads, an appetizer of fried meat ravioli, and I had veal parmigiana for my entree. Angie had a pasta combo which included meat ravioli, manicotti, and lasagna. Add some Italian bread and a couple glasses of wine and the meal was complete.
The first thing we noticed was that the sauce was served MOLTEN hot. Sauce shouldn't remove layers of epidermal cells - it should be simmered over low hear for long periods of time.
Second, we noticed that we couldn't actually SEE our food. The put so much of the molten liquid on our plates, we couldn't see what we were eating. This is a telltale sign to me that the food isn't good. Truth be told, the food was ok. I found my veal thick and bland. The sauce was ok, but it didn't seem to have been slowed cooked. Again, it was bland.
In fact, other than for the wine, the food just didn't have a lot of taste to me. Some of this I blame on my snobbery. I spent the first 30 years of my life living in a place that is known for its municipal water. I truly believe that the water is so good in NY because it has a high mineral content, particularly chlorine. This mineral content comes out when you cook with it. I am still looking for bread down here that tastes anything like the bread you can get in NY. Same holds true for the marinara sauce. Combine both into a single food (eg., pizza) and now you know why I can't enjoy the pizza down here. Bagels, Italian breads, etc. These are the things that I jones for when I go back north.
I’ve heard rumors of an Italian place in Plano that had their sauce delivered from Jersey. I think there are some guys from Brooklyn in Quorum Circle in Addison. These are unsubstantiated rumors at this point.
Until I get to check them out, we’ll have to continue to consider me a snob.