Alexandria Bay’s castle

Jul 26, 2008

Cavallario's There is a castle in Alexandria Bay. Cavallario’s is an Italian Steak and Seafood House located on Church street in A-Bay.  An institution near the waterfront, it caters mostly to tourists in the Summer season.  Cavallario’s facade is made to ressemble a castle and the walls inside are covered with items inspired by the Medieval era.  Especially Medieval is one of Don Cherry’s plaid jacket hanging near the entrance.

Having experienced one of the best Bloody Caesar at the Thousand Islands Country Club (extra horseradish, a bit pricy at 7.00$), most of us decided to see if it was an A-Bay area specialty.  Although decent, it was not quite as tasty as it was at the golf club, but it was also half the price.  (Talking of gold, our round today was postponed and then definitely cancelled after 12 holes for cause of thunderstorm accompanied by lightning that fell too close for comfort.)

Cavallario’s menu is quite diversified, which makes it tricky to figure out what is actually worth paying for and what is there just to make sure everybody finds something to order.

I didn’t feel really hungry, so I decided to go for a lighter fare tonight.  Especially since they kept bringing more of their delicious bread, a softy warm loaf covered with garlic butter.

I started with their BBQ Shrimp, stuffed with horseradish and wrapped in bacon, and served with a tangy bbq sauce with a very good kick.  Unfortunately, only four shrimp were on my plate, fairly big ones but still, you expect a couple more for 8.00$. James also went for shrimp as an appetizer, choosing the Shrimp Cocktail Supreme.  Again, four shrimp only, so I guess the supreme would be the price.  Brian decided to go for the Fried Calamari, a good pick once again this year as they were lightly battered and perfectly fried, and there was more then four – (no worries, I didn’t actually count them).  A few others ordered the French Onion Soup, and I heard no complaints about the very cheesy plate they were served.

A cup of a cream of potato was included with my entree.  It was actually quite well done, not heavy at all, which is rare for a cream of potato.  There was no chunks of potatoes however, but instead nice and crunchy green beans, which gave some depth to the soup.

Where is life without love or a dinner without wine?

That is the question Cavallario’s is asking on top of their wine list.  I suppose they are right, so we ordered a couple of bottles of the Cabernet Sauvignon 7 Oaks from J. Lohr’s winery in California, a well balanced wine, with dark cherry flavour and underlying black currant.

As I said, I wasn’t really hungry, so I ordered the baked manicotti.  Manicotti is a preshaped tubullar pasta, stuffed and baked most often with a blend of cheese.  The Manicotti I got where no longer tubular – they looked like crepes.  That is because the blend of cheese inside (ricotta and parmesan) was too soft for the heavy mozzarella they topped it on.  Unfortunate.  The pasta was served with a nice and rich marinara sauce,  and the blend of herbs and cheese inside the manicotti was very good.  The mozzarella however was a bit chewy, and could have been cut with something lighter.

In a previous trip, I had the Diablo Chicken, a spicy breast served on penne pasta and topped with hot peppers.  It was quite good last year, but Mike told me that it wasn’t as spicy this year, although still good.

Norm had the Roast Rack of Lamb.  The chops were juicy and well marinated with herbs.  And with eight bones, they were a good deal at 26.00$.  They came with an industrial mint jelly, uninspiring and unworthy of the meat.

As for Kenny, I could have sworn he had actually ordered half a cow when his King Cut of Roast Prime Rib arrived. Although it was pegged at somewhere around 16 oz by our very professional server – who sounded like Reese Witherspoon at times – there is no way that beast could have been less then 20 oz.  Cavallario’s is roasting their beef piece every day, and consumers are warned that it is available only until it last as it is the house specialty.  The meat was very tender and juicy, despite the thickness of the cut.  The horseradish that came with it was unfortunately too mild and almost watery.

Everybody was full at the end of this copious meal, and once again Cavallario’s is showing why it’s been around for so long. Attentive and fast service (except perhaps when ordering bar items – which we of course barely did…) made this a very enjoyable meal.

We all skipped dessert.

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