Cafe Formaggio – Carle Place, NY…WOW!


I am guilty of driving by this place like a million times since I moved to Long Island and not giving it a second glance but in April when I was driving by it, something had changed. There was a sign that announced a gluten free menu. I made a mental note to check the place out when I had a moment. Fast forward to Aug 16th, my birthday.

Caffe Baldo is closed and I am looking for a gluten free place to grab a bite and sit and chill. I remember this restaurant and we decided to check it out. I was warned by Joe it was fancy pants but at 5pm, how fancy can it be? If you park in the parking lot of the restaurant, expect to be valeted.

This restaurant is not exclusively gluten free; they serve a regular menu to most of their customers. The gluten free menu however is the most extensive I have ever seen at an Italian restaurant serving regular “glutenous” food. The restaurant is beautiful inside and the staff is super friendly and are always willing to bend over backwards to make gluten free accommodations. They said nothing about me bringing my own dessert.

I like to try a lot of different things my first time at a restaurant which generally results in everyone sampling with me or lots of take home boxes. For my first time here, I tried the Formaggio Wedges, Calamari Fritti, and Ravioli Gratinate. Each dish was absolutely amazing.

When watching the food network, we have a joke about “food sex.” On TV, they display food to please the eye as well as the taste buds. Sometimes they almost sexual-ize it. When a chef put out, for example, a rack of ribs and talks about how juicy and succulent and how the good just melt in your mouth and that they are finger lickin’ good and makes cooing and moaning and yum sounds; that’s “food sex.”

The ravioli dish would be one of those dishes. It looked amazing (cheese perfectly browned and melted), each ravioli the perfect shape without a hint of stuffing gone, smelled other worldly, tasted like nothing I have had before. I don’t remember regular ravioli ever being this good. The calamari and cheese wedges also lived up to my memory of what non-gluten free Italian used to taste like. The calamari has a light flaky slightly crunchy breading that I could have sworn was made with real flour. The squid was cooked perfectly, not at all rubbery like some restaurants. The cheese wedges were equally amazing with a light crunchy bread crumb crust and cheese that melted in your mouth. This would definitely have to be one of my best gluten free Italian meals ever in eight years.

This is now my new go to restaurant for gluten free Italian food. If you are in the area, you MUST try this place.

***Update-Reheating these items on the second day, everything was almost as good as the first. Each aluminum container went in the oven for about 20 minutes until the cheese was melted on the ravioli again. The ravioli were just as good as the day before although they softened up a bit, the cheese wedges as well held up extraordinarily well. Sadly, the calamari lost their crunch and texture but the taste was still there. I don’t suggest trying to bring them home though.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Travel Gluten Free
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 17:06:03

    Hi,

    Just came across this great review! Would you be ok if I were to use this review on my site and link back to your blog with credit as with the review of O’Bistro in March please?

    many thanks,
    Mike

    Reply

  2. Kayla
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 17:17:47

    Of course, you may use whatever you would like from my site including pictures as I post them.

    Reply

  3. Travel Gluten Free
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 19:59:17

    Many thanks!

    Have added the review here:
    http://www.travelglutenfree.co.uk/NAmerica/USA/Restaurants.php

    Reply

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