Roslyn, N.Y. is a bit of a drive, but this neat calamari arrangement makes the journey well worth your while. (Photo by Katherine Base/The Ram)
When you first walk into the restaurant you are immediately greeted by the warm staff and host surrounding you with smiles. The decor is impeccable and the warm ambience given off by the staff is perfect. Being a family restaurant, you immediately get that vibe at first glance around the restaurant. Family’s surround tables filled with children, parents, grandparents, aunt and uncles celebrating birthdays. Matteo’s is the home away from home.
My family and I sat down at the table and a waiter instantaneously appeared introducing himself to us ready to serve us. He was very courteous and asked us if we would like to start with drinks. When I had walked in there was a jug of white sangria that caught my eye. It looked delicious so that is what I went with, the white sangria. Within a few moments, the waiter appeared back with our drinks. He slowly put down the giant glass of cold white sangria. I couldn’t wait to try it. It was light colored with chunks of fruit in it like peaches and apples. It was probably the best white sangria I had ever tasted.
The menu had long listed of family sized portions of Italian food. I started with the appetizers and then worked my way down the menu. Baked clams, Stuffed Mushrooms, Mozzarella sticks, Fried zucchini, Calamari arrabbiata, Stuffed artichoke, the list went on. I didn’t know where to start. Since it was my dad’s birthday he chose to order the appetizer. He got an order of calamari arrabbiata for the table. Within less than ten minutes, I saw the waiter gracefully carrying our steaming platter to the table. The stuffed mushrooms and the calamari arrabbiata looked delectable. I had been familiar with the stuffed mushroom dish but had no idea what “arrabbiata” was supposed to be in the calamari dish. When the large family style platter was placed down I immediately went in for the calamari. The fried calamari was covered in this bright red sauce surrounded by tomatoes, onions, and garlic. I took a bite of it. So. Spicy. But I loved the spiciness and especially how fresh it tasted. I definitely would order this dish again.
After indulging in the calamari dish, it was time to order our entree. Matteo’s is an Italian Restaurant so of course, the list of different type of pasta dishes was never ending. Also listed were different platters of chicken, veal and seafood. Being a chicken lover, I went for the Chicken Marsala. According to our waiter, it was the most popular Chicken dish in the entire restaurant. As I sipped on my sangria and pinched at the olive bread, I waited for the entree to arrive.
The chicken dish took a little longer than the calamari dish to be prepared. After around twenty minutes of waiting out came my waiter gracefully carrying my family and I’s orders. He made carrying six plates look easy. My chicken dish was smoking hot, so I just admired it as I waited for it to cool off. It looked so delicious. It was chicken cutlets surrounded by mushrooms, herbs, and onions soaked in a dark brown Marsala wine. As I bit in to the chicken, the savory taste made me want to devour the whole platter. The Marsala wine sealed the deal. It was so tasty. This dish was excellent. Not to mention, our waiter treated us like royalty. He constantly would come back to our table asking how our food tasted, if we needed refills on drinks, or if there is anything else he could do for us.
While I finally cleaned out my whole plate like some starving child, I started thinking about dessert. When my sister had made the reservations she had told the staff it was my dad’s birthday. I had totally forgotten to tell them to bring out a little cake or pastry for my dad with a candle in it. To my surprise I saw my waiter coming out of the kitchen a few minutes later carrying a huge plate lit with candles. I knew it was for my dad and I smiled. The most enormous brownie was on a plate drizzled with chocolate syrup and covered in vanilla ice cream and chocolate chips. Holy crap. Was the brownie “family-style” too?