The experience

DSC_0113Well, Ogre informed me today that I forgot to write this post.  I’d actually written Saturday’s post already and was waiting for him to write/post his Thursday night before posting my Saturday post.  Well, here I sit trying to recall the events of FRIDAY night’s dinner.  I know that I was the one who suggested Chianti Cafe, which we noticed was now open.  It was still pending finish out when we ate at Tomo a few weeks ago.  Ogre always acts so miffed when we discuss this restaurant because it replaced Cafe de France (which we’ve reviewed on here and I need to update as closed), which he says has been there as long as he can remember and he grew up in Plano.

The first thing that Ogre noticed was that the clientele did not seem much different from our Cafe deFrance escapade.  Lots of septogenarians (is that a word).  We were seated right away, but then service was a little discombulated.  We had three people come up to our table to fill water, take our drink order and take our drink order again. 

Mina immediately pulled out her DS to keep herself entertained.

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Benji made do with the forks.  He was very excited and kept saying, “Look-uh me!”

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After we ordered some appetizers, the server came out with some freebie appetizers.  We all ate some, but only Ogre and I liked them.  Ogre and I decided we would each get a salad and share an entree tonight.

Mina decided that human interaction was superior to electronic and decided she would be our photog for the night.  She started with a picture of her DS and Benji.  She took all the pictures of our food tonight.

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Our waiter brought out the kids pasta as soon as it was ready, which was a nice touch.  The kids were happy to dip and eat.

Next out came our salads and my lukewarm response again brought about Ogre’s opinion that I am not a “salad person.”

The Bologonese came out next.  He divided into two portions for us, which made sense, but boy did the portions look tiny!  We trudged through it, but Ogre and I both agreed this wasn’t a fave.  I didn’t even finish mine and Ogre was not interested in finishing it, either.

The only downside to kids getting their entree before us is that they finish before us.  Before we knew it, Benji was playing with the silverware again, only this time he found a knife and saying “Fy-ing danger!”

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The “danger” being taken away quickly led to tears, which quickly dried when their ice cream came out.

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Interestingly, neither of the kids seemed into their ice cream.  I think they were put off by the pistachios!

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Without dessert to keep them occupied, the kids got pretty antsy and our waiter was nowhere to be found.  Well, that’s a lie, he was hovering over the computer with a guy who was probably the owner or manager.  Regardless, I was getting antsy also and eventually pulled the kids out while Ogre paid up.

 

The food

Italian, pure and simple.

The freebie appetizer were the Stuffed Mushrooms.  They are stuffed with clams and were actually pretty good.  Better than the actual appetizer we decided on.

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We ordered a sampler for an appetizer that came with fried ravioli, bruschetta and calamari.  Maybe I’ll go from bad to better.  The calamari was not very good.  I was afraid that Benji would choke on it and he normally eats calamari.  It was way too chewy.  The fried ravioli were pretty good.  The best thing on the plate were the bruschetta which had tomato and mozzarella atop a nicely crisped and buttered piece of bread with balsamic reduction sauce drizzled on it. 

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We each ordered a salad.  Ogre ordered the house salad, which he initially wrote off and didn’t even want to take a picture of and then said that it was actually quite good.  The dressing was an Italian -seemed homemade.  I ordered the Spinach Salad with walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese with Balsamic syrup drizzle.  I thought this was pretty good, not the best salad ever, but good.

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Ogre and I shared the Bologonese pasta, which they gave us atop Penne pasta instead of the requested spaghetti.  This was probably part of the problem.  Although Ogre and I both like Penne (it’s Ogre’s favorite), I don’t think it gets coated well enough with this sauce.  Ogre thought that the meat flavor overpowered the sauce, which I agree with -that was probably our mistake for ordering a meat sauce. I don’t think I’d ordered this again, it reminded me a little too much of Hamburger Helper.

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The kids had Pennepasta with marinara sauce on the side, of course.  They seemed to like it well enough, eating most of it.

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The service

Service was a little strange.  I can’t say that it was necessarily bad, because at times he was good, but then he would disappear for lengths at a time.  Ogre thinks they were having problems with their computer system. Perhaps.  The food came out at a pretty timely manner.  It was mainly getting our check that had me looking around and tapping my finger on the table.

 

The kids

Not that there’s anything wrong with dining with an older crowd, but we were the only table, it seemed, with an average age under seventy.  This, though, actually is somewhat of a plus, as most of them just smiled and thought our kids were cute even though they were crying and/or screaming.   I do think it’s a relatively kid friendly restaurant.  They have a few kids choice menu items and the restaurant is not hoity-toity.  No kids activities.  The ?manager/owner came up to me as we were leaving to tell me he thought Benji was cute and that he had two young boys also. 

Since it’s so new, I’m going to just say give it a shot, hopefully, it’ll get better with time and let us know what you think. 

 

The total:

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