Calzolaio is our favorite restaurant

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            Our favorite table at Wilton’s wonderful Calzolaio restaurant is in the far corner of the interior room, with stone walls on two sides of us. We’ve celebrated anniversaries and other special events at this table enjoying our favorite dishes.

            Calzolaio was our favorite restaurant before we began writing this column and it still is. It’s been especially rewarding to have so many friends and readers of this column try Calzolaio and let us know that they loved it. There’s a lot to love here, with extensive menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And the location in the old Bass shoe mill is historic and beautiful.

            For a recent dinner, we started out with a half carafe of the house Chianti ($10). We were a bit surprised that at 5:30 pm on a Wednesday night, the place was packed. Two tables near us included small kids, while upstairs the local ski team was enjoying a banquet with their families. This is a very family-friendly place, and the owners, Tom and Rocell, are extremely generous with donations to lots of local projects and programs.

            Our server, Chase, a UMF college student, was attentive with a great sense of humor. At the next table, two young girls got chocolate milks with whipped cream and a cherry on top. As the drinks arrived at their table, the oldest exclaimed “Wow!” Wow, indeed.

            If you love seafood, there are lots of choices from fish and chips to Seafood Arrabbiata. Are beef, veal, pork, or chicken dishes your favorites? Or so you favor vegetarian dishes? Lots of choices for all of you. There’s also a huge array of pasta choices.

            For Linda and me, the Italian dishes are our favorites here, especially Roc’s eggplant parmesan ($15.95), which I had on this night. It’s the best eggplant dish we’ve ever had, including in Italy. This is a recipe that spans three generations “with some compromises for keeping the peace.” It’s battered and fried fresh eggplant layered with sauce and five cheeses and then baked. The portion is very large and I only managed to eat half of it.

            I did try something new for an appetizer, the Cheesy Garlic Bread ($5.95), rich garlic butter and spices on crusty Italian bread with melted mozzarella and an especially tasty marina for dipping. The portion is huge, and when it arrived, Linda proclaimed “Seriously, that’s a meal.” And wow, was this great!


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