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Feb 6, 2009 01:15 PM

Bday Italian night out. Cavey's or Diorio's?

I'm looking for a good italian restaurant in the hartford or New Haven area. The place must have good parking as we will have 2 older cane-using parents with us. We wanted L'Oricio but we think the parking will be a problem especially if there is snow. So, we were thinking of Cavey's in Manchester or Diorio's in Waterbury. We haven't been to either place. Which is better? We've been to many other italian restaurants in the area including Bonterra (southington), First & Last, and, our favorite, Caffe Bravo in New Haven. Of couse, Max a mia and Max amore are both good too. However, we wanted to try something different. Suggestions?

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  1. Piccolo Arancio in Farmington (right off 84) is excellent and there is parking in the rear and on the side. IMO, it's better than Cavey's Italian (upstairs). (I always thought Cavey's French (downstairs) was the star.) I have not been to Diorio's so I can't make a comparison there. Have fun!

    6 Replies
    1. re: chowmensch

      As a resident of Manchester, I have been to Cavey's a few times over the years. As far as parking is concerned ,it is very easy there, the lot is right along side the building and around back,so its a short walk, the front entrance is at ground level which is good. My only concern is that (PERSONAL OPINION) there Italian selections leave much to be desired. They usually do not serve traditional Italian dishes. No Veal Parm, or the more familiar Italian pasta dishes, Especially on week end nights. If I were you, I would call ahead as reservations are an almost must! And ask what the normal menu for the night you would be planning on going. They maybe able to tell you or they may not. I am including the web site for them,( take a look, and you can decide, The food is very good, Just in my opinion not very Italian.>>>> Earle Ct.

      1. re: Earle

        Earle, how about the Italian restaurant right next to Cavey's--Pagani's Brick Oven? I've enjoyed a variety of dishes we've had there over time, but have not been recently. Parking there is literally just like parking for Cavey's as they're neighbors.

        Acervoni, I only went to Diorio once a couple of years ago, but we enjoyed our meals. Re parking there, we parked in a garage across the street--if memory serves, there was no charge to park at night.

        My friends in Watertown (originally from W'bury) still love San Marino after all these years. Really good Italian food and an easy walk from the parking lot to the front door. Here's the menu if you want to check it out:

        Have fun wherever you decide!

        1. re: kattyeyes

          Pagani's is no more. It is now called Rocco's.

          1. re: Waquoit

            Interesting--thanks. For future ref, what do you think of it? Is it at all like Pagani's was? <edit> From what I could suss out online, it seems to be more of a pizza joint now. Is that accurate?

            1. re: kattyeyes

              Yes, its more of a pizza place, but they still serve meals, Grinders and Burgers. Steak, Pasta, Chicken, Veal, Its owned buy a girl and man, who have ties to a place in Coventry ,called Demetri's. The food is very good, or at least I like it, If they have a web site I will include it on this post. ( They serve a great meal called Stuffed Shells Florentine , Very good with spinach and ricotta cheese. and I believe its only 10.95 . Hope this answers your question about Rocco's Earle Ct.

        2. re: Earle

          You would be hard pressed to find a restaurant in Italy that has chicken parm on the menu. So i don't know why that is what everyone expects caveys to have. What every seems to think is italian is actually italian-american..

      2. The very best Italian in the Waterbury area, and some of the best I've ever had - PERIOD - is at Roma Ristorante, 179 Davis Street in Oakville (860) 274-2558. (Oakville is a transitional location, between Waterbury and Watertown.) Roma's building is not attractive - you might almost think the place is closed if you drive by too fast - but the food is Southern Italian wonderful. I'm sure there are other endorsements of this place on this forum and on Google. Make sure you reserve WAY ahead, especially if you want any chance of eating there on a Friday or Saturday night.

        4 Replies
        1. re: robiethecat

          OK, robiethecat...based on your Kawasaki recommendation (thanks!), I'm taking notice of your post...but seriously...better than La Tavola? That is top 5 in the state of Connecticut for me...

          1. re: kattyeyes

            I'm not sure that Roma is better than La Tavola, but their parking situation sure is. I've been several times and have enjoyed it. It is a very small restaurant & bar. You have to go through the bar to get to the dining room (like Tavola), but it can be very tight getting through there. I've enjoyed the food I've had the 3 times I've eaten there (but haven't been recently, so I can't elaborate).

            1. re: joan mar

              Thank you, Joan. Most parking situations are better than La Tavola, but THE will keep me making the haul to Waterbury and hoofin' it from the Wachovia parking lot, no problem!

              1. re: joan mar

                LaTavola wins hands down anytime in terms of an overall dining experience. Roma is like a private club. The food is wonderful (I posted elsewhere on this site) and reasonably priced once you get it..but the staff has no qualms about making customers wait for two hours...totally experience in booking reservations or planning...La Tavola is pricier but worth it ...

          2. There is something about the presence of two cane-brandishing older folks that makes me think San Marino in Waterbury is for you. It is far more traditional in its approach than most of the other restaurants mentioned here. There are many, many older Italian-Americans in the Waterbury who swear by it (and a good number of younger ones, too). It's not dazzling or especially inventive, but it's solid, traditional and a good value. Plus parking is plentiful and there aren't stairs to contend with. It's probably worth a try.