Discovering How Damian's Cucina Italiana Has Made It to the 30-Year Mark
|Dieters need not try the ravioli stuffed with sweet potato in a sage butter sauce at Damian's Cucina Italiana.|
After proving itself a reputable Italian restaurant through its pasta, Damian's went on to impress with its branzino azzurro, my main dish. Its sheer size -- gargantuan -- was more than enough to leave an impression. But the defining qualities of the incredibly well-grilled, herb-dusted sea bass were its freshness and its straightforward preparation.
Damian's knows how to craft more than just pasta -- proved by its Branzino Azzurro, which made quite an impression.
Like the other items on Damian's menu, the fish didn't need any over-the-top sauces or crazy ingredients added to be fantastic. The accompanying garlic-sautéed spinach and cannellini carrettieri (white beans in a white wine butter with fresh tomatoes) followed this same principle. Not only were the side dishes unexpectedly delicious, they were also an excellent complement to the sea bass. For one who doesn't typically go for fish as an entrée -- or beans as a side dish -- I was quite content with my main course. Further complementing the dish was a glass of Cantina di Casteggio Oltrepo Pavese Pinot Grigio out of Lombardy, Italy.
A slice of tiramisu punctuated my pleasant Damian's experience. Unfortunately, tiramisu is one of the few desserts that I don't care for, so I turned to my dining companions to seek their feedback. It turns out that all four people sitting around me weren't fans of tiramisu, either. What are the chances? I guess we'll never know how Damian's tiramisu stacks up to its competition.
Tiramisu, one of Italy's quintessential desserts, can be found on the menu at the 30-year-old Damian's.
Despite the dessert not being up my alley, I did end my dinner on a sweet realization: I looked at the dining room, where 55-plus-year-olds dined and imbibed throughout the restaurant. I suddenly recalled the section of the Damian's Web site that I checked out prior to my visit -- the "Find your Server" section -- which lists every server's name, photo and number of years with the company so that guests can request their favorite by name when making a reservation.
Half of the servers, also leaning towards the older, rather than younger, end of the spectrum, have worked at Damian's for over 20 years. The other half have worked at Damian's for five to 12 years. And there I had it: The restaurant, its employees and its guests have been growing older together for all of these years. And it's no mystery why these folks are so loyal after one experiences the Italian restaurant's simple yet delicious menu that offers a great value, quality service and a pleasantly conservative interior. It definitely seems that the venue, its staff and its patrons will only continue to grow older -- together.
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