Restaurant is comfortably at home in the heart of Garden City’s upscale
shopping district. This wonderful eatery is easily accessible to customers by
both front and back entrances with ample parking options. Franklin Avenue
provides patrons with one hour parking in the front of the establishment, while
plenty of village parking is available behind the building.
is co-owned by Ronald DiGangi and Saul Monge. Collectively these two proprietors
have several decades of experience in the restaurant business. Calagero’s
which was named after Ron’s late Italian grandfather opened its doors in 2002.
His grandfather believed delicious food should be available at delicious
prices; an idea that this place easily lives up to.
the rear entrance, and you will make your way through a lovely little brick
patio area with tables for seasonal afternoon and evening dining.
The immediate surrounding area has been landscaped with some green
bushes, and an umbrella at each patio table.
Calagero’s has successfully transformed an ordinary back parking lot
into an aesthetically pleasing outdoor dining area. Once through the back doors, you will be escorted past a dark velvet curtain,
which is draped at the beginning of the hallway leading to the dining room.
The dining area is vibrant with its deep yellow colored walls, and cherry
wood accents. Vintage posters in
black frames are hung throughout; all containing an accent of the same yellow of
the walls. Votive candles burned on
wrought iron decorative wall hangings, as well.
The bar, located near the front end of the establishment, was small and
cozy. The atmosphere created at
Calagero’s was casual and comfortable.
Once through the back doors, you will be escorted past a dark velvet curtain, which is draped at the beginning of the hallway leading to the dining room. The dining area is vibrant with its deep yellow colored walls, and cherry wood accents. Vintage posters in black frames are hung throughout; all containing an accent of the same yellow of the walls. Votive candles burned on wrought iron decorative wall hangings, as well. The bar, located near the front end of the establishment, was small and cozy. The atmosphere created at Calagero’s was casual and comfortable.
attentive and friendly wait staff was dressed in casual black attire.
The service was outstanding with their knowledge of the food and
We sampled a few options from their Specialty Martini List. The first was the Bellinitini (above left), which combined Bacardi Peach, peach nectar and champagne. It tasted as if you were actually eating a peach. Next up was a dark colored Razitini containing Stoli raz, lime juice, cranberry juice and blue caracou. The Strawtini (above right) created a sweet and thick choice with strawberry vodka and strawberry puree. Our last sampled martini, was the Pomtini. Pomegranate vodka, pomegranate schnapps and triple sec created this sweet and vibrant refreshment. All the martinis were intense in flavor and went down quite nicely.
fresh bread (below left) arrived in a silver wire basket nestled within a white cloth napkin.
Each slice of bread was hearty and crusty with a soft center. On each table there was a container of oil with herbs at the bottom.
We highly recommend shaking that container (yes, you can safely turn it
upside down), and using with the delicious bread. Beware you will have a
difficult time not filling up on the breat as it was that tasty.
The Baby Spinach Salad (above right) contained marinated artichoke hearts, oven roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, gorgonzola cheese, and toasted pine nuts lightly dressed and drizzled with pommerray vinaigrette. Ron informed our table that this has always been one of their best sellers. As we took our first bite, it was not hard to understand why. The unique honey mustard and pomegranate dressing was delicious and evenly coated the entire salad. The roasted nuts brought a nice toasted nutty flavor to the salad. This was an excellent combination that truly satisfied.
Pan Roasted Fresh Mozzarella (below left) was served with arugala salad, roasted peppers,
grilled tomatoes, aged balsamic, and basil olive oil.
The mozzarella was slightly warmed and tasted incredibly fresh, it was
also drenched in a delicious balsamic reduction, which added a nice sweetness to
the dish. The roasted red peppers were marinated on-site.
then moved on to the Judith Point Fried Calamari (above right).
With this appetizer there were two sauce choices – pomodoro sauce and
red pepper aioli. Both sauces went
well with the calamari. The pomodoro was as fresh as you could get, and the aioli provided a
nice spicy option. The tender squid
was lightly breaded to perfection.
Pan Roasted Salmon (above left) had a citrus white wine sauce, served with sides of homemade
potato gnocchi and broccoli. This
simple presentation with citrus flavored sauce complemented the tender and lightly breaded moist salmon.
While the salmon was great, the homemade potato gnocchi was out of this
world (above right). The beautifully tender
pasta, which melted in our mouths, was served in a marinara sauce.
By far, their gnocchi was one of the best.
Lasagna Bolognese (above right) was created with the most perfect layers of mozzarella,
ricotta, parmesan cheese and Italian meat sauce.
Evenly proportioned and clean cut with each fork slice.
Even the mozzarella melted on top seemed to be complete perfection.
The sauce was incredibly fresh and contained plenty of meat.
This lasagna entrée is definitely a delicious and hearty choice.
we moved onto our fourth entrée, we thought it was going to be difficult to top
the previous three. Calagero’s
surpassed our expectations again with their Quattro Formaggio (below left); a delicious
marriage of baked rigatoni, mozzarella, ricotta, gorgonzola, romano cheese
served in a rounded triangular plate. This
entrée arrived steaming hot and covered in melted cheese.
Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top had been baked to create a slight crisp
crust to the dish. The cheeses
blended extremely well and could be tasted with each bite.
This was a very filling option, but well worth every bite!
last entrée of the evening was the Chicken Sorrentino (above right).
Chicken prepared in a red wine sauce was layered with eggplant, spinach,
prosciutto, and melted mozzarella. The
thinly sliced chicken was accompanied by eggplant, and a prosciutto that was not
overly salty in flavor. The red
wine sauce was not overpowering, and gave subtle sweetness to the Chicken
Sorrentino. As a side, there were mashed potatoes and a sautéed vegetable medley.
The thick and creamy potatoes were a homemade delight.
This entrée is certain to satisfy any appetite.
Every restaurant nowadays has some form of a chocolate molten cake. At Calagero’s it was referred to as the Chocolate Lava (above left), but this one was better than most! Keeping up to par with their exceptionally high standards, they served this decadently thick and rich chocolate cake with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. It was amazing. You must order this dessert if you love chocolate. If you would like to try a dessert that is a departure from the ordinary, then we highly recommend the Spumoni Ice Cream Cake (above right). This unique dessert combined chocolate, pistachio and strawberry rum ice cream and halved cherries in a biscotti/graham cracker crust. The whipped topping reminded us of orange creamsicles. This unique combination of flavors was an outstanding way to finish our evening.
provides authentic and mouth watering Italian cuisine in a casually upscale
environment. It would be difficult to have only one favorite at this restaurant,
as everything we sampled was really outstanding.
And a visual survey of the faces of other customers indicated they
agreed. Whether you want to grab a
quick lunch or enjoy an evening of fine dining, Calagero’s is your go to
place. Our only advice is to do
your best to save room for dessert!