Short version: Mmmmm, we like!
We stopped in late this afternoon after a trip to the local Cinemark (Mystic River; downer, but a fascinating character study).
Arriving right at 4PM, we had the entire dining room to ourselves; interestingly enough, it still felt friendly and "homey". Neither MJ nor I had eaten lunch, so we got a decent sampling of a number of courses. Since we were the only patrons for most of our meal, service was excellent; kudos to the waitress and the rest of the staff for resisting the urge to dote on us!
After ordering, we were brought a basket of bread and some complimentary macaroni salad, made with olive oil, garlic, chick peas scallions and curled penne rigati, that was really good; the pasta was done to perfection, chewy but not hard.
We started by splitting an appetizer of roasted red peppers and fresh mozzerella, with basil and olive oil. Simple, and delicious! We dipped the bread in the olive oil; the bread wasn't baked on premises, at least at 4PM on Thursday it wasn't. It was good, though; probably Augustini's.
I had a soup, Italian sausage soup. It was red vegetable soup with tortellini, zucchini, yellow squash, and spicy Italian sausage, with just the barest wisp of tarragon, and it was outstanding. I had a mixed greens salad with feta cheese, pine nuts, roasted red peppers (I thought about it and decided I didn't care if everything I ordered had roasted red peppers in it), and balsamic vinegarette. MJ skipped the soup and had the dinner salad, which was some iceberg, but also some romaine, some escarole, etc; nice to see.
MJ ordered sea scallops on a bed of spinach with sun-dried tomatoes, I ordered pork Calabrese. Her scallops were huge, firm, and fresh, in a buttery white wine & garlic sauce, and they were excellent; my pork was an entire tenderloin, perhaps 20 oz! It was VERY tender and succulent, and done to perfection (between medium and medium rare). I could cut it with a fork (and I did); it came served underneath shaved potato slices, kind of like homemade potato chips. I ate half of it. Truth be told, it was tender but just a wee bit bland. Salt helped. I don't use salt much in restaurants, but this time it helped.
We were stuffed, and took dessert to go; it's in the fridge right now, an apple dumpling and a slice of cheesecake. The menu suggests 18% gratuity; the bill after tax but before tip was $74 (2 iced teas, no bar tab), and we left $90. Kinda steep, but we weren't trying to limit it, either.
Anthony's is less of a neighborhood bar/restaurant compared to other places in Old Forge, and somewhat more adventurous in its menu, atmosphere and presentation. The menu is very extensive in its "special" offerings, almost to the point where I wondered how they could offer them all and also do them all well. I can only speak for what we tried, of course, and I will say that the quality of the ingredients is high, the presentation is excellent, the soup, salad and appetizers are (Mosca kisses his fingertips), MJ says the scallops are excellent, and the pork Calabrese needed a bit of salt!
Next trip, we'll cut down on some of the extras (ala carte salad, dessert, appetizer), and we'll try some of the pasta and chicken dishes.
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