Madness takes its toll, and with a Groupon that cost me $15 for $30 worth of fine dining I dragged Cookie out for another night of Italian food in deepest darkest Schenectady. The parking lot for Petta's is big, and newly paved, and swept clean, but the area is pretty run down/sucked. The restaurant's exterior was less than inviting, but I was curious. Petta's is one more of our family run Italian restaurants in the Albany area that we should never tire of, established in 1951 and now run by Mike Petta, grandson of the original owners. So with a jump to the left, and a step to the right, we wound our way past a take out window and a bar full of regulars to a seat in a very large dining room with musack that probably doubles as a banquet hall.
|This is as busy as it got but it was Tuesday|
|Cookie looked at me and said "I love this bread!"|
Anyway, Cookie had the soup, a generous serving of White Bean Fagiole (a Chicken Pastene was also on for the day) that could have been dinner all by itself. It was dished up nice and hot, the beans were smooth and delicious, garlicky for sure, but not too much, with a bit of Swiss chard in there, maybe chicken broth and some sage. A touch extra S&P was added at the table. You're into a time slip when food is that good - you just want to close your eyes and savor every bite.
Our main courses arrived and this is where we brought our knees in tight. Cookie ordered the Eggplant Parmigiana ($17.95), layers sliced about 1/8" thick and stacked up. We liked the presentation, with only half the dish covered in sauce (choice is good). We decided that the flavor was pretty bland. It tasted like, uh, eggplant, but don't get me wrong, I like to taste the veg but that's all we were tasting, that and something metallicky, which was probably the red sauce; and the "parm" was totally absent. This dish was barely okay, and time is fleeting. Cookie moved on to her homemade cavatelli with the red sauce and decided the sauce tasted really tinny, she didn't much care for it, but the pasta itself was very good.
So the menu was the usual, the service was friendly and personal (I liked her), and we think we should go back some day just for the homemade spumoni. I may return for another taste test, but it won't be anytime soon.
Dinner for two, including tax, was $62.48 minus the $15 we saved using the Groupon.
Zena, Goddess of Fire
PS: Going back in time is NOT one of my best superpowers, so a bit of critique will have to suffice before I go out later to save the world from the forces of evil. May it save the food at Petta's.