Last night, we celebrated my Uncle’s birthday at his favorite restaurant, Immediato’s Bistro.
Jen and Tony used to be my neighbors and I babysat their two boys! It amazes me every time I see the boys how much they have grown! They moved down to Middletown a few years back and opened the bistro and hoagie shop! (great turkey sandwiches, by the way)
Jen and Uncle Eddie
Jen and Me
To celebrate, about 12 close family members joined us for dinner. Each table is welcomed with a basket of fresh ciabatta-like rolls and olive oil. Vinnie, Tony’s brother prepared bruschetta, broccoli rabe topped with freshly grated Locatelli, and chopped antipasto salad! One of my favorite thing about Immediato’s is that they are not cheap with the fresh garlic! I’m not typically impressed with bruschetta, but wow! I literally could have eaten a whole bowl by itself. In fact, the bruschetta went so fast, this half eaten plate was the only picture I could snag!
During dinner, the loud Italians were silent! Everyone was completely focused on theirs meals.
Among the entrees chosen were:
Chicken alla Tony (top) and Farfelle Immediato (bottom)
Penne with Pesto and Meatballs
Linguini with Meat Sauce
Ravioli in Meat Sauce
Marsala Braised Short Ribs
and the birthday boy and one of my cousins got the
Chicken alla Tony.
Marsala Braised Short Rib
My dad got the Farfelle, which I’ve gotten before, and loved it. Its not quite an alfredo, but the cream sauce is perfectly complimented by the peas and prosciutto. The braised short rib was something I would have never thought of getting, but our family-friend said that she had it earlier in the week and has been craving it ever since! Naturally, I had to try it. I had never seen gnocchi in anything other than your typical Italian gravies, but this was a like a Marsala-BBQ-y goodness! The beef was pull-apart, fall-apart amazing, and smothered with mushrooms and gnocchi. I believe we will be going back for my cousins birthday in a few weeks. This may be a contender for dinner that night.
The birthday boy isn’t a huge fan of asparagus, but who isn’t a fan of pasta, chicken, and crab meat… He graciously shared the asparagus , of the Chicken alla Tony,with my aunt and me. Perfectly steamed, perfectly crisp.
My meal of choice was actually an appetizer: Mussels White. You can make it a meal by adding a side of pasta. Like I said, they do not skimp on the garlic! My dad, whos not the biggest fan of mussels, couldn’t stop raving about how perfectly cooked this bowl full of yummy was! And my godfather sweetly asked, “Hey Sammy, could… could I try one?” He was sold! The white wine sauce was fantastic! Once I finished the mussels, I kept scooping my fork in the broth and pulling up chunks of chopped garlic! Yum! To compliment the shellfish, I saved some of the broccoli rabe and ate them together.
My cousin, Kyle, apparently enjoyed his meal as well…
Yeah, its just THAT good!
To add to the celebration, Immediato’s had a performer playing guitar and harmonica and singing beautiful Italian songs. My Uncle and dad really enjoyed themselves as they began some vino-induced singing of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York!”
The Birthday Serenade
And now for the desserts! I think I may have gone up a pant size last night. I could not get enough of the desserts! Vinnie prepared a special birthday dessert for my Uncle, and I have to say, I was shocked, impressed, and in it for the long hull: Fried Gnocchi drizzled with cinnamon, sugar, and chocolate, with a center piece of cannoli filling and homemade pizzelles!They also brought out a cake with a candle, while the guitar player sang and played “Happy Birthday.” Kyle and I had no trouble tapping into that baby while Uncle Eddie enjoyed the Chocolate Truffle Cake!
Blowing out the candles!
There is a whole case of cookies, cannolis, eclairs, giant cream puffs and truffle cakes, and multi-layer cakes! My cousin, Kyle, and I went to town on the cookies!
MMMMMMM! Birthday Surprise!
They have the best macaroons I’ve ever tasted; and being the chocolate lover that I am, I opted for the chocolate covered ones. Have you ever known me to turn down PB? I got an array of cookies from the case… Raspberry filled shortbread, PB, macaroons, and cheesecake filled.
Some cookies I HAD to bite into!
To top off the night, we cheersed with a shot of my Uncle’s homemade lemon cello.
I also got my mom a slice of the tallest strawberry shortcake I’ve ever seen! Sorry mom, but I had to tap into that on the ride home.
Decorated with a wafer roll cookie and stuffed with strawberries and smooth creme!
Once I got home, it hit me light a lightening bolt! PB cookie+Raspberry shortbread= PBnJ! Genius! With my first bite of the PB cookie, I was hooked! It was not just a PB cookie, but a PB STUFFED cookie!
Now thats how a cookie should be!
As always, it was a wonderful night at Immediato’s Bistro! If you’re in the area, I highly recommend swinging by Main Street for lunch or dinner, just don’t forget the dessert!
Thanks for a great night Jen, Tony, Vinnie, and the crew and Happy Birthday, Uncle Eddie, and many more!!