8/18/06 We went for dinner on a gorgeous Friday night. The food was ok and the prices were reasonable. I wouldn't go back because, I think, that Ridgewood has so many other restaurants and possibilities. This one didn't draw me in and make me want to go back.
Some good things. The atmosphere and courtyard dining experience is the best in Ridgewood! The staff is attentive and does not rush you through dinner. It is a BYOB which helps to keep the budget down. The food always looked pretty when presented (unfortunately not always tasting as good).
A negative. The night we went the Matradee was also bringing bread to tables, pouring water and olive oil. This was a little annoying when you wanted to get your name on a list for a table. Also it seemed if you had a big mouth and just walked up and said VERY LOUD I need a table it didn't matter if you were waiting behind another couple to be seated/get your name on the list.
We started with fried calamari ($8). It was ok and the portion size small. There were maybe 5 pieces in the dish that melted in your mouth. I wouldn't order this. We have been to Esposito's Pizza (Mahwah) and Aldo's (Wyckoff) and for a similar price the calamari is FANTASTIC!
Dinner -- my husband order the chicken, mozzarella, sundries tomatoes ($13). The potion was ok and it tasted good (the chicken was moist and tender). It was prepared with fresh mozzarella but there wasn't a single sun dried tomato to be found. The dish, I felt was a little bland.
I ordered one of the House Specials with fillet mignon and chicken over a bed of greens ($17). I was surprised at the huge portion size ... a lot of meat. Unfortunately they prepared the meat in strips. My Fillet was not medium rare but rather well. The chicken was dry. This dish was a big disappointment! I think it would have been much better if the fillet and chicken were severed whole -- it would have retained it's moisture. For a House Special, I would have expected more out of the quality.
Dessert - I had the cannoli which was SUPERB! The cream was fresh and the shell was crunchy. It was obviously freshly prepared and GREAT! I would definitely get this (if you go) ... it is equal in quality and taste to any of the great local Italian pastry shops. My husband ordered a chocolate pastry filled with moose. Looked good but was still pretty much frozen in the middle ... that took away from the taste and made it icy. The cappuccino was good and extremely HOT! I love hot coffee and many times cappuccino comes warm because of the milk so I definitely loved the coffee.
Our bill for the evening was $68 dollars without the tip. For another $10 - $15 I would go to Aldo's in Wyckoff ... had a GREAT dinner, fantastic service, and bring home leftovers. However, you never make it to dessert --- you would have been stuffed! But you still would have had a cappuccino and it is served with a rock candy stick.
Atmosphere, outside dinning, food presentation and waiter service were all top notch (five stars). Food was 2 stars. No repeat business from us ... will check out some of the other local establishments in Ridegwood the next time.