Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cafe Goodfellas

Last night our little gang arrived in Connecticut around 8:30, ready for a great weekend with my family. Since I now live in NJ, my sister Amanda lives in New Haven and my dad still lives up in Vermont, every once in a while we all meet up at Amanda's for the weekend since it's central for everyone.

Last night marked the end of Restaurant Week in New Haven, and while we were pretty tired, we weren't about to let a long drive deter us from taking advantage of a great meal at Cafe Goodfellas. A late reservation actually ended being perfect since Riker was able to just fall asleep for the night when we got there. What a cutie.

Amanda has been raving about this little Italian place for a long time, so we were excited to have a chance to go, especially during Restaurant Week! The atmosphere was cozy and upbeat, the service was fantastic and the food was top notch. We started out with a bottle of Cabernet, which was smooth and just the ticket after a long day.

Usually Restaurant Week menus are fairly short and offer only 2-3 options for each course, but Goodfellas did it up. There were at least 10 options for appetizers alone.

Amanda and I both opted to start with the Eggplant Napoleon, which was layered with crispy eggplant, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. This was probably my favorite part of the whole meal. The eggplant was really thin, lightly breaded and crispy without being oily; it was also piping hot, so the mozzarella started to melt just a tad on the edges, making it stringy and delicious. I'll be having dreams about this! I definitely want to recreate it at some point.

Next up we had garden salads with house made dressing. Classic but good.

For my entree, I ordered Goodfellas' version of beggars' purses. They were little pouches of homemade pasta dough stuffed with pears and ricotta cheese, surrounded by a brown butter sage broth. This was seriously amazing. What I really loved was that this dish wasn't even on the Restaurant Week menu! It's my sister's favorite meal from there, so even though it wasn't on the menu she asked if they could make it for us as part of the special and they gladly obliged. Talk about service!

Matt ordered the filet mignon topped with mushrooms, lobster and blue cheese. He was obsessed with his "perfect bite" - steak, lobster and blue cheese with a spoonful of mashed potatoes.

We certainly weren't hungry by the time we finished our meals, but since dessert comes with the package, we felt it our duty to try one of their sweet treats. Matt and I both ordered the Goodfellas Cupcake, which was a mini chocolate & vanilla layer cake filled with cannoli cream and raspberry sauce and covered with chocolate ganache. It was served up with vanilla ice cream and fresh whipped cream. It was delicious but very rich, so I only ate about half.

I also had a bite of Amanda's raspberry sorbet. So refreshing!

After dessert, the server brought us complimentary glasses of champagne to sip on while we chatted and let our full bellies digest the big meal. Such a treat!

What a great ending to a long week! 

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