Rants, Raves & Reviews – Capone’s Grill & Pasta Shop

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Cathryn and I don’t get out for dinner much these days, mostly because many restaurants aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Who wants to pay forty bucks for a steak that’s not cooked to your liking or eat frozen veggies. Maybe it helps in our case that we both like to cook, and cook the way we like.

Not to say there aren’t any great restaurants in Windsor. Take the little Italian grill and pasta shop called, Capone’s on Wyandotte Street, in old Riverside. Owner John Fuerth is the restaurant’s first reason for success. He openly admits that he mimicked his favorite Italian restaurant, the Cook Shop, when he created Capone’s.

dinnerCathryn and I have eaten in both places and John hasn’t missed a beat. We were able to get a table on Friday night without reservations and were welcomed as if we were extended family. We started with the scallop appetizer special. They were plump, seared to perfection and served with a tasty reduction and veggie slivers.

Cathryn had the Chateau Briand and I ordered the carbonara with pancetta, asking for it to be on the creamy side. The wait wasn’t long and our meals were served piping hot from the kitchen that was only a few feet away (a very cozy place for the cooking staff). C’s filet was cooked exactly how she asked. I received a damn good sized bowl of pasta – easily the best carbonara I’ve had in many years.

desertFor dessert we had cheesecake that was made inhouse. It was not your normal triangle slab cut from a pie tin. It resembled a large scoop of ice cream, light and creamy, with no gram crust, and topped with blueberry sauce. OMG good.

Even with a decent bottle of  wine, our bill barely broke a hundred dollars. The same meal would have cost us almost double at the Cook Shop. John told us Lino recently retired and sold the downtown landmark. Not a problem for us since we’ve found our new favorite Italian eatery. Both C and I give Capone’s a 10 out of 10, and I think that’s the first time ever.

Nero’s Steak House

1491341927522What ever happened to all the good steak house restaurants? Windsor used to have at least a half dozen top notch places. Did the next generation stop eating steak or do they avoid upscale eateries? Even the Outback Steakhouse couldn’t survive in Windsor.

Not to worry folks. In case you haven’t heard, Nero’s Steak House in Casino Windsor is all things a good beef baron should be, and more. They specialize in prime cuts of meat, but also offer seafood and a full menu.

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Rino’s Kitchen & Ale House

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Formerly the Nesbitt Inn, Rino’s Kitchen and Ale House is a small restaurant on the fringe of downtown Windsor that is big on character and flavor. Meals are served inside a one hundred year old stately brick home on Elliott Street at Pelissier. It’s far enough from the bar scene to have ample parking right next door.

Chef Rino Bortolin proudly uses local ingredients for his ever-changing menu, and he offers local craft beer and wine. His prices are fair and offerings range from burger to lamb shank. The atmosphere is cozy and casual. In the warmer weather tables are set up outside on the deck and sometimes in the back yard.

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Marco’s Pizzeria

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The secret is out in East Windsor. Drive by the corner of Tecumseh and Tourangeau Roads around dinner time and you’ll see the steady flow of hungry people walking in the front door of Marco’s Pizzeria & Italian Family Eatery or coming out smiling, carrying boxes of pizza. I’d heard about the place from some family members, but only remembered the building from when it was Ten Friends Diner.

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Toscana…All the Buzz

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By Cathryn Gagnon and her Dining Divas 

This month the Dining Divas experienced Toscana Restaurant and Wine Bar at 3891 Dougall Avenue, in Windsor.  When making the reservation, the restaurant was completely booked, but they were able to accommodate us in the redesigned bar area.  I actually prefer to sit in the bar area at restaurants; the energetic atmosphere is abuzz, making it a fun setting.

Although it’s a fair size, Toscana is always full. The new bar area now seats about 20, and puts diners face to face with the sushi chef. Stylish round booths surround the comfy bar stools. Our favorite way, for my husband Ed and I to enjoy Toscana, is to reserve a bar stool and share a few of our favorite starters, paired with a bottle of wine.

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KOMA – A Hidden Taste Sensation

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By: Cathryn Gagnon

This month the Dining Divas discovered KOMA (Kitchen of Michael Anthony) Restaurant – at 3090 Dougall Avenue, in Windsor. It’s nestled behind Taco Bell.

Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised at how beautifully decorated the restaurant is.  Luxurious red, accompanied by black accents with lovely furniture and great little bar.  The place is small – perhaps twelve tables, but it’s the perfect size for Chef Michael Anthony to shine.

The menu presentation isn’t fancy, a printed sheet of paper – but the appetizers and entrees certainly are. Windsor-20160420-00149

Once all Divas arrived, we chatted among ourselves and reviewed the deliciously described menu choices – most of us kept changing our minds on what to order as each tantalizing item was discussed.

After much discussion and input from our server, about the menu items, we finally decided.

Our starters in included:

  • Tempura Vegetables smothered in roasted carrot puree with soy honey dressing
  • Rice Balls laid over pulled pork tenderloin with san marzano tomato and guincale
  • Braised Lamb atop seared bacon corn bread, caramelized onion and blue cheese
  • Panko encrusted Calamari with dill soy honey ginger dressing and red curry cream.

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