I have to say that I was disappointed in my meal ($39 including appetizer, entree, a shared slice of cheesecake, and tip.) I ordered the Shrimp and Scallops which were served with a (supposedly) Fra Diavola Marianara sauce. I will admit that I am pretty picky when it comes to sauces and I tend to base my opinion of an Italian restaurant on their Fra Diavola! We started the meal with the calamari which was good and I enjoyed the basic side salad and decent blue cheese dressing that came with the meal. The bread was delicious and hot. The sauce on my pasta (which was cooked just right- definitely al dente) was really watery - I mean so thin that it had almost no color - which made it difficult to eat without dripping all over! It just did not have the rich spicy flavor that Fra Diavolo sauce should have and the sauce was so watery that it literally slid right off of the pasta. (I grew up in an Italian American family and I do know the difference between a red ragu and a marinara!) The scallops were awful and I should have said something and given them the opportunity to make a substitution or adjustment - my fault for not doing so. They were a really odd crumbly texture and tasted strange also. My mother felt the same way when I asked her to taste them. She ordered the Primavera Penne, substituting linguine for her pasta. It was a little rich for her, but very good. In fact, I had several bites of hers. We were full, but shared a slice of cheesecake which was tiny for $7 and, again, it too had a very odd flavor and texture. When I think of good New York cheesecake, I expect a thick slice with a slightly ricotta like texture and this was just not up to par. It reminded me more of flan than cheesecake. The service was good and the wait staff were attentive and friendly. I do not mind paying for good food, especially if it is Italian, but $40 is way too much for the quality of the experience I had. I have heard that Cartucci's has a good lunch buffet and I may try it in the future, but no more dinners there for me.
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