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Saturday, June 23, 2012

CUCINA CALANDRA - FAIRFIELD, NEW JERSEY

CUCINA CALANDRA
BEST WESTERN
FAIRFIELD EXECUTIVE INN
FAIRFIELD, NEW JERSEY

Cucina Calandra is located in the Best Western Fairfield in New Jersey.  The owner not only owns the restaurant but the entire hotel and adjoining strip mall that houses his private bakery, Italian Sub and Cheese Shop plus other specialty stores.   A true entrepreneur that is doing it right.  We stayed in this hotel and enjoyed several outstanding meals at Calandra's.  This is a Family restaurant filled with the middle class working families from the adjoining neighborhoods and tourists and businessmen heading to New York City.  Each night we dined here there were families with young children, parents and grandparents enjoying some really good Italian food.  On Tuesday nights all the pasta dishes are half off so the place was really hopping. On my first visit I tried a Veal dish that was incredible.  It was not on the regular menu but part of a three course special that we were treated to by one of my suppliers.  Loved the veal and sauce. Dish did not have any pasta so we ordered a bowl on the side.  Wow....all of the pastas here a freshly home made.  I love the taste and texture of homemade pasta.  On two subsequent visits I ordered the Zuppa Di Pesce ($31.95).  Lobster, Clams, Shrimp and Scallops in a Garlic White Wine Sauce.  I ordered this with Linguine rather than the Angel Hair pasta it is normally served with.  LOVED THE LINGUINE.  Fresh and homemade.  This totally sets the dish apart from what we get in Hawaii.  Rarely do we find homemade pasta on menu's here.  While the Lobster, Shrimp and Scallops were a bit overcooked, they still had flavor and matched well with the sauce.  Loved this dish so much that I ate it two times.  There is enough on the plate for two people so share if you can.


ENTRANCE IS JUST OFF THE LOBBY
OF THE BEST WESTERN FAIRFIELD
THIS IS TRULY A "FAMILY KITCHEN" AND RESTAURANT
LARGE TABLE SEPARATES DINING AREAS
CHILDREN LOVE TO WATCH THE PIZZA MAKER IN ACTION
CENTER OF THE RESTAURANT CONTAINS PIZZA OVEN.
WATCH YOUR PIZZA BEING MADE
NOT YOUR NORMAL BREAD IS SERVED HERE
BREAD IS FILLED WITH GARLIC, BUTTER AND CHEESE
FRESH MOZZARELLA, PROSCIUTTO DI PARMA AND PEACH
COLD ANTIPASTO DELLA CASA
PROSCIUTTO DI PARMA, GENOA SALAMI, CAPICOLLA,
BOCCONCINI, ARTICHOKE HEARTS, CHUNKS OF
PARMIGIANO, PROVOLONE CHEESE AND OLIVES
CUCINA GARDEN SALAD
PIZZA WITH SAUSAGE
VEAL DISH WAS DAILY SPECIAL AND DELICIOUS!
FRESH PASTA WITH MEAT SAUCE
DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS IS.  MY FRIEND ORDERED IT
MEATBALLS AND MARINARA SAUCE
ZUPPA DI PESCE
LOBSTER, CLAMS, SHRIMP, SCALLOPS IN GARLIC WHITE
WINE SAUCE WITH FRESH TOMATO AND GARLIC
HUGE SHRIMP
LARGE MEATY CLAMS
GOOD SIZED SCALLOPS
CHOCOLATE CAKE WAS THE BOMB!
TIRAMISU
FRESH BAKED BREADS FROM THE BAKERY

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