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“Manga Manga”
Review of Cucina Calandra

Cucina Calandra
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Ranked #3 of 66 Restaurants in Fairfield
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Kids, Special occasions, Families with children, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Fairfield Road
New Jersey
Level Contributor
146 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Manga Manga”
Reviewed April 6, 2014

This was my first first to this restaurant and they do have a couple around this part of New Jersey.
I have always thought of the name synonymous with bakery's not restaurants, that is how bad I am. Well on a heavy rainy evening we ventured forth to meet up with some friends who had picked this restaurant to have dinner. They are located inside of a Best Western Hotel, so we were skeptical at first, but that oon past, as soon as we entered the restaurant. It was rather crowded but we were seated immediately with our reservation. The waiter came to our table fairly promptly and took our drink orders. then came back and we ordered our main selections. Lobster Ravioli, Chicken Milanese, Pollo Arrabiata, Veal special, and a penne special. While we were served delicious cheese encrusted baked loaves of bread along with olive oil, the wait seemed very long. We continued our conversation, albeit a bit noisy, it took what felt like 30 minutes to receive our entree's. Then they finally came, four of them minus one. We all looked at each other and politely waited for the last dish to arrive, but after a few moments we realized we would have to remind someone that we were still waiting for a final dish. At that moment the Manager came by noticing the situation and she immediately apologized and said she will take care of it, and of course the meal will be on the restaurant since this was not their normal service. One additional minute or two and out came the order, again with the manager standing near by to apologize. That attentiveness made the experience more comforting, and for that
alone I would come back.
Now as far as the food was concerned, the arrabiata should have come out much spicier than it did, it was rather bland. The Lobster Ravioli looked nice and the guest enjoyed it very much. The other comments were good as well.
Coffee was served in small cups, and at 2.95 for regular coffee, we all thought that this was somewhat high.
All other entrees were in the low 20's which seemed fine.
We would all go back, since the overall experience was a good one.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank passionrules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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106 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    44
    42
    14
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Northern NJ
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Mediocre food, lackluster service. Wouldn't return.”
Reviewed March 19, 2014

My wife and I went for dinner. It wasn't particularly busy, and there were several open tables, but it look several minutes to seat us and I'm not sure why. I ordered a Peroni beer and was brought a Pelligrino sparkling water....? Then, while the waiter was reading us the specials, one of the managers/owners interrupted him to hand him his weekly paystub. Mid-sentence, a MANAGER interrupted him. And not your garden-variety college freshman "manager" from Chili's. An actual adult with authority, likely an owner, but evidently clueless. Incredible.

Food was mediocre at best. There are so many good Italian places in this area...this one was just "eh." The bread, however, is pretty good, with melted cheese in the middle. It would have been nice if someone had pointed this out to us, however, as we looked around for butter or oil for the bread before cutting it. At the end of the meal, the waiter offered us dessert, we declined, then we sat there almost 20 full minutes before seeing another waiter. Finally our waiter realized he didn't bring us our check, announced an expletive, and brought us our check. Professional.

I left a good tip anyway because I'm not rude. Then I check my credit card statement a few days later and find that they charged me literally DOUBLE my original bill. No idea if this was the waiter's fault or the owners, but I called them to fix it, and two OWNERS from the restaurant, Jody and Bill, could do absolutely nothing to fix it because "their records show" that's not what they charged me. I offered to send my receipt, but they declined. Ridiculous! I have to do the legwork with my own credit card company because you overcharge me? Maybe I should have expected this level of service based on the service quality inside the restaurant...

Anyway, even without this frustrating ending, I wouldn't go back. The food isn't worth writing home about, and the prices for said food are a little ridiculous considering the quality. Avoid this one.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank superj300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfield, New Jersey
Level Contributor
37 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Consistantly delicious food from a family of restaurants and bakerys that really cares about quality and satisfaction.”
Reviewed March 5, 2014 via mobile

Having been to all three Calandra restaurants many times I can say that this one is my favorite- love the lounge bar area that is cozier and quieter. Same menu/prices. I also had a party here that took over half of the main room. Food is always great and service is excellent. Have tried most of the menu and can honestly say I have never been disapointed- just left full and happy. Cant beat that- prices are moderate and fair and leaving with a loaf of the best Italian bread is perfect. Go!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank creativesoul8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The best ALWAYS FRESH”
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Everything is FRESH, Very Friendly.
Always stop by Calandras, you should too.
The most exotic breads.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank diamondbaseball
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clifton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
151 reviews
133 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Brought in the New Year in style...”
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Had reservations for six at this restaurant located in the Best Western Executive Inn in Fairfield.
Dinner was served in the Executive lounge which had entertainment for the evening that took us right thru midnight to bring in 2014 in style... small band with lively singing serenaded us as we danced 2013 away. One of the couples celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary and special request songs were played in their honor. We topped off the evening with a complimentary champagne toast. Food was good for the most part but the calamari in the fra diavlo was a bit too rubbery... but overall an enjoyable evening was had by all. They have a great happy hour so we will be back.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank frb47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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