I am a Foodie. Food is fun. At least it should be. I’ve spent the last 20 years in the hospitality business making it fun for a lot of people. I dine out more than in and love to play the ultimate hostess, creating food, fun and entertainment for many a group.
I am also a hunter and a great dining experience is my quarry. I am not a professional food critic. Just a person who loves a great foodie experience and this is a very target rich environment.
It was a warm Wednesday night and we picked Arturo’s for our foodie fix. I had heard good things about Arturo’s and finally had a chance to check it for myself. Don’t let the dolphin with the tux in the driveway throw you off. Casual attire at Arturo’s is more than acceptable. I was surprised to seeit so busy for a weeknight during the slow season. Just FYI, I am not fond of the term ‘slow season’ for reasons discussed another time.
I use a mental checklist to gauge my feelings about a dining experience. I call it the Dining Triad; Aliment – Ambiance – Attention. Basically it means, how is the food, environment and service? Arturo’s impressed me right off with its lay out. Rather than one big open space, it was sectioned off into smaller, more intimate areas. It really fits the overall feel of the place.
Our server, Cory, was promptly table side asking about beverages. One of my faves is a Moscow Mule. A Moscow Mule is a good drink to order when you are trying to see how authentic a place is. I was very happy it arrived in the appropriate copper mug. This was going to be agood night!
There were four of us at the table and Cory’s descriptions of the specials were very good; even being able to field questions from a couple of us about ingredients or cooking methods.
As we dined, it was wonderful to see the owner making the rounds. This always impresses me and shows me they really care about their craft. At Arturo’s, that person is Judy Barney. Judy became sole proprietor of Arturo’s Italian Restaurant last fall. It was nice to hear her Brooklyn accent and lent some major credibility as she talked about her belief in true, New York hospitality.
Ready? Because here comes the food. Starter: the cold antipasti plate, fresh buratta cheese, roasted red peppers, Italian meats and olives on a bed of baby greens. The flavors melded together beautifully.
Entree: Arturo’s Famous Stuffed Pork Chop – boneless pork loin, stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella cheese,finished off with a mushroom Marsala wine Sauce. AND the new Lobster Ravioli sautéed with scallops in a brandy – tarragon sauce. Both were fabulous.
Dessert: The new rum cake, peanut butter pie, gelato, key lime pie, cappuccinos and espressos. The desserts were moist, light and tasty, and the drinks were hot, frothy and really hit the spot.
(This is where I make a sidebar comment on how important it is for the courses not to overlap. One course served, dishes cleared, next course brought out. They were spot on!)
My husband is a member of the clean plate club most every time he goes out. The portions were generous at Arturo’s and even HE ended up taking some home.
It’s hard to imagine going to an Italian restaurant without having some wine. So we did. We found that Arturo’s just received the Wine Spectator Award for their wine listand have a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.
I have been enjoying the dining scene on Marco for over 35 years. Arturo’s holds some great memories and it’s now time to create some new ones. “We’re taking Arturo’s into the 21st century,” says Judy proudly. “We have a great staff and I’m proud of what we offer our customers. They’re like family to us here. It’s all good!”
There’s a lot coming up from Arturo’s. A happy hour called ‘Beat the Clock’, summer specials include Lobster Night, Pasta Night and more. Get on their mailing list, check out their website, but better yet, stop in and have a real Italian dining experience. They especially like to host great group parties and have some outdoor seating that would be perfect.
“I believe in making every experience right,” says Judy. “I do my best, God does the rest. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.”