Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Bellini's Dinner Table Tuesdays
So after hearing much about Bellini's new Dinner Table Tuesdays deal, I decided to purchase and review (Fussy Blog Daniel beat me to it, read his thoughts here). If you haven't heard, Bellini's is offering a bread/salad/pasta dinner for 4 for around 20 clams. I was a little skeptical about what I was going to get at this price, but I kept an open mind. The following is the description and instructions from the website-
"Here are tomorrow's Dinner Table Tuesday choices a day ahead of time if you wanted to place your order today and avoid the rush! 1/2 Platter of Penne ala Vodka, 1/2 Platter of Caserta Insalata and a Fresh Baked Italian Loaf - $19.95. Don't let the name fool you, the Penne ala Vodka is very "kid-friendly" - penne pasta with fresh tomatoes, oil, garlic, basil, vodka sauce, broccoli, cream and Romano (If ordering tomorrow please place your order at least 2 hours in advance)"
I called around 2:30 and arranged to pick up my order at 6:00 (at the Slingerlands location). Upon arriving at Bellini's there was a queue of 3 others waiting to pick up their own food. It seems the restaurant is doing a brisk traffic with this promotion, I thought this might speak well for the product. But then again, people could just be curious like me. Here is my prize in the bag. My wife liked the bag, funny the things she notices.
First we have the bread. I found the bread to be tasty and fresh, no problems here.
Next comes the "Caserta Insalata."
Again, I had no problems with the salad. The greens and tomatoes seemed fresh, there was what I deemed a generous amount of pancetta (bacon) bits, and 6 or 7 wee balls of mozzarella. I liked it in its own right, Mrs. Dave tried it with the dressing.
The wife was not a fan of the dressing, I tasted it and thought it was fine. I don't even really know what type of dressing it was supposed to be. It was creamy, vaguely tangy, with a good amount of garlic.
Now we have the "Penne ala Vodka."
Penne ala Vodka is not something that I would ever order in its own right. Almost universally offered at "Italian" eateries it is usually an insipid, bland, gunky mess. This said, I did not have high hopes for Bellini's version. However, I was actually pleasantly surprised. The sauce had some nice cheese/garlic flavor, the pasta was not cooked to gum, and the broccoli was plentiful and still had a bite to it.
I would have to say that I was pleased with the purchase. For 20 dollars (less than what I would spend on Chinese delivery for instance), I got a good and filling meal made with seemingly fresh ingredients. For my wife, who is much less adventurous in the culinary realm than I, this is just the kind of meal she loves. Did I mention it was only 20 dollars? I am a little perplexed by the promotion, either they are somehow actually turning a tidy profit or it is some genius plan to get the word out about Bellini's and build up some customer loyalty. Perhaps also to garner warm fuzzies from harried housewives. For the price and purpose, I heartily recommend this for the busy family.