Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pasquale's Ristorante in Candia not worth a trip out of your way

After heading back home after a trip to the seacoast, my wife and I started to think about where to go for dinner. Because we were on Route 101, we eliminated some usual suspects and decided to go back to a place that we hadn't visited for a number of years - Pasquale's in Candia.

Pulling into the parking lot we noticed a huge sign announcing a pizzeria with the same name as the restaurant. A moment of initial confusion set in but we quickly realized that this was an additional venue and it hadn't replaced the original restaurant. Without a reservation on this particular Saturday night, we were told that it would be 35 minutes and that we could wait next door in the pizza place. Seeing that it was cold out it seemed very odd that we had to exit the building since there was no hallway connecting the two spaces for customers to use. After our initial surprise, we went over to wait at the bar.

Bellying up to the bar we found two bartenders - one was clearly new to the profession. My wife asked for a martini that was on the menu and the poor bartender seemed to be utterly confused so she asked the "seasoned" pro what was in the drink. Apparently, he wasn't well versed on the offerings since he looked it up! Keep in mind that the drink menu is small so again we scratched our heads and continued waiting for our table. 

Being removed from the main dining area, we were wondering how much longer it was going to be so I went over to find out. The hostess was rude to me and this should have given us pause but we had already waited so we decided to take our chances and stay. People - let me give you some advice - trust your gut instinct!!!

After being seated, our waiter arrived and he was pleasant. We explained that it had been some time since our last visit so we asked for his advice on a few items. The nice thing about the restaurant is that everything is made to order so you truly are able to swap out veal for chicken in any dish. Hearing that we both decided to try the Al Gamberi with chicken. Meals include bread and a small house salad or for a $2.00 up charge, you can get a cup of minestrone soup, Cesar salad, or beet salad. I chose the house salad and my wife opted for the soup. For an additional $2.00, we thought the soup should be served in something larger than a Dixie cup but she enjoyed the flavor.

After our starter was cleared, we waited for at least half an hour for our entrees to arrive. The kitchen was visible from our table so each time a dinner was plated we hoped it was ours. Since it became evident that we were in for the long haul, we had fun watching the hostess and never seeing the scowl leave her face. When our food finally arrived, the risotto was good but the chicken lacked some serious flavor. We're not sure if there should have been a breading on the chicken breast because it tasted boiled or poached. The description said that it was served in a garlic cream sauce but neither of us could detect any garlic.

We ended up ordering tiramisu for dessert and it was very tasty.

Overall, we didn't have an enjoyable experience and we highly doubt that we will be visiting anytime soon. Seeing that it was busy on this night I am sure they have a good local following but we cannot imagine anyone going out of their way to frequent Pasquale's.
Pasquale's Ristorante on Urbanspoon