On Wednesday, I was invited down to Elisa's Ristorante' and Cafe' to enjoy the fine cuisine of Chef Paolo Telese, and I was lucky enough to be there on chicken night.
Being that I am on a quest to good health, chicken is a large portion of my eating, and Elisa's was just what the doctor ordered. First, Paolo came over and we chatted a bit about the state of the business, which he and his brother have run for the past 16 years. The customer-base is loyal, and Paolo was sure to make his rounds and make sure that everyone was satisfied and cared for.
Within 10 minutes of sitting, my first course had arrived. It was mixed salad with potato croquets. I know, potatoes are high in carbs, but I decided to treat myself. Nothing wrong with that if you don't make it a habit. The salad was excellent, but that's hard to mess up, and the potatoes were pretty good. The best was yet to come, though.
Before my "appetizer" arrived, Paolo sat down with me once again, sharing the story of how he has a 3-year-old and a . The little one was with him at the restaurant earlier in the day, and he continued to work and greeted customers with the baby in hand.
After he went to attend to other customers, fried shrimp arrived on the table. Another not-so-great choice in terms of health, but allow me to continue to treat myself. They were excellent, and there was a pleasant amount of crunch. Sometimes, if shrimp are fried too long, it becomes uncomfortably crunchy, and that takes away from the taste.
The main course was next, and the first bite put me in the clouds. Simply, it was heaven. I ordered Chicken Cardinale, which is described in the menu to be chicken breast, topped with prosciutto, roasted peppers and mozzarella cheese in a red sauce and white whine. You didn't really need the knife, because it cut easily, and in what seemed like an instant, the food was gone.
What impressed me the most was Paolo's attitude towards his commitment to service. He brought up an earlier story regarding his winning of an award. There was a negative comment, and he was happy the reader brought it up, but he said complaints sit with him, and admitted that he is a perfectionist. While we were sitting down, a glass broke across the dining room, and he jetted over and helped diffuse the situation immediately.
The bottom line? A great bite, and I will certainly be going back.