Restaurants & Bars


Gaetano's Red Bank


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Gaetano's Red Bank

amv | | Oct 1, 2006 01:39 PM

I went to Gaetano's last night based on some recs on this site. We had a 7:00 reservation for 4 and were not seated until after 8:00. I do realize that running a restaurant reservation book can be a tricky thing, you need to maximize your tables and need to account for possible cancelled reservations, but an hour wait is ridiculous. There were at least 4 other parties that were in the same boat- 7:00 reservation, and still waiting outside at 8:00. Clientele was definitely frustrated, and I overheard numerous complaints. We got a mild apology when seated, and nothing was offered to make amends (cheap bottle of wine, complementary dessert, whatever. It would have been an appropriate gesture in my opinion).

Anyway, on to the food. I do have to say it was pretty good. Crusty bread was brought to the table warm and served with extra virgin olive oil. The grilled calamari appetizer was about 10 baby squid cones, tender as could be, served in a spicy broth with roasted peppers. Fresh mozz and green tomato salad was solid. The eggplant rollatini was sliced thin and was a good combination of cheese and sauce. Particularly good were the artichoke hearts stuffed with breadcrumb and chopped lobster, shrimp, and crab. It was served in a garlic cream sauce that made for good bread dunking.

Entrees were 3 seafood pastas, 2 spicy, one with shrimp and scungilli, the other with a little more variety. Linguine with clams looked good (looked like more than a dozen to me), though i did not taste it. Pasta was cooked al dente which is always a plus. My wife had a baby greens salad, which was good, not outstanding, and the grilled asparagus which was excellent- thin spears with just a bit of crunch served in a balsamic sauce with melted fontina. \

We had biscotti for dessert, which were just ok. They were soft, not the hard crunchy kind good for dipping in your espresso.

I would want to go back for the chow, but that wait situation really made me angry, and I just might cut off my nose to spite my face. Has anyone else had a similar experience with reservations here or was it just an off night?