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Conte in Orange

t
The_Enabler Dec 28, 2009 02:49 AM

In search of a replacement for my dear Il Forno restaurant and through some of your suggestions, we've tried Salute, Assagio, Nello's and Pepper Mill. Salute was not bad at all. I loved the way they cooked their vegetables and my salmon was always good but alas the penne ala vodka was not to my daughter's liking. Assagio was on the money but we fell hard for Conti's. Our waiter was great, attentive and he remembered our drinks the very next week. We've been going for several weeks now, however, Conti changed the menu. Everything went up significantly. I thought it was a bit pricey to begin with but the food was fabulous. He is as he reputation precedes him, a very tempremental man. We were not only disturbed by the sudden huge increase in pricing but by the way he reprimanded his waitstaff speaking about a particular customer. He basically said if they don't like it they can get the F out of my restaurant. He was dropping the F bombs louder than he probably thought. The waiter was upset as he forgot our bread, out extra dressing but I didn't hold that against him. Too bad because we never had a complaint about the food but I can't afford his prices any longer.

We're trying the BBQ this week.

  1. JenJeninCT Dec 28, 2009 03:04 AM

    Do you mean Conte Ristorante in Orange?

    3 Replies
    1. re: JenJeninCT
      t
      The_Enabler Dec 28, 2009 03:30 AM

      Oops - yes that's the very one....

      1. re: The_Enabler
        JenJeninCT Dec 28, 2009 03:36 AM

        Thanks- we have a gift cert I think we'll use sometime soon- what are your fave menu items?

        1. re: JenJeninCT
          t
          The_Enabler Dec 28, 2009 03:24 PM

          I'm sorry to say that I'm a vegetarian but do eat fish. The Salmon is great, never dry, always succulent and very tasty. Salad does not come with the meal and was fairly large but that has since changed. It's mixed greens with 4 slices of provolone. My daughter's favorite dish is penne ala vodka and this restaurant prepared it best according to her. The pasta is made fresh every day and the sauce is more of a pomadoro (sp?) nice red tomato sauce. Veal and Chicken parm according to my husband were good. They serve a combo of garlic nuts and bread - garlic nuts are good. The piano man is very nice and his playing adds something to the atmosphere. It's a real shame the prices skyrocketed.....

    2. cheereeo Dec 28, 2009 09:41 AM

      Just so we are sure - Conte's on the Post Road in Milford, next to Lau Sze Chuan and across from the old Linen's and Things, right? That's too bad to raise the prices at this bad time, but perhaps they are struggling too. Stinks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cheereeo
        t
        The_Enabler Dec 28, 2009 03:19 PM

        Yes, that's the exact location.

      2. JenJeninCT Jan 21, 2010 03:31 AM

        We finally used our $50 gift certificate last week. We arrived just before 8 on Wednesday, and were greeted enthusiastically by the hostess and seated immediately in the sparsely occupied dining area (there were 2-3 other occupied tables and 1 couple arrived shortly after us). Decor and ambiance are nice- tables dressed elegantly, the interior painted and with accessories to make it look like you are in the courtyard of an Italian villa, piano player providing a variety of music (he's very good and takes requests).

        Our waiter Walter was earnest, professional and attentive without being overbearing. He arrived like magic at precisely the right time several times during the meal to change courses, and even to settle the bill- I did finally see him surreptitiously observing us from the waiter stand, but again, that to me, is the sign of a good waiter. The only thing I can think of that he could do to improve is to crumb the table- I'm a sucker for that, especially in a restaurant that is attempting elegance as Conte is.

        We started with a glass of wine for me and a beer for my SO (1 of 2 complaints about the meal- poor beer selection, no biggie for me, but its my SO's beverage of choice) and ordered the crab cake appetizer. Walter brought a basket of bread and butter, which brings us to complaint #2- the bread was cold- I mean like it was in the fridge cold. Too bad, too, because the garlic knots were delicious even though they were cold. The butter was at least at spreadable temp. Crab cake was edible, and served on a smell bed of dressed mesclun greens, but to me it looked and tasted like the premade ones I buy at Stew's to pan fry at home- no comparison to crab cakes we've had at Bin 100 and Bridge House recently for the same price ($14). Entrees fared better- my veal sorrento with mushrooms was tasty and tender, but the mashed potatoes had a weird flavor in certain spots(perfect in others- maybe the serving spoon had been used to stir or serve something else?), veg was unremarkable. SO's squid ink pasta with scallops, shrimp and tomato cream sauce was one of the specials, and it was very good, if slightly over-priced at $24. Presentation of dishes very basic, portion sizes adequate - not too small or generous- but enough to take home 1 medallion of veal for the puppies- SO had no leftovers.

        We usually don't order dessert, and this night was no different, but we did enjoy the perfect cappuccino. Total before tip was $87, and we tipped about 24%(remember our motto, stolen from the movie "My Blue Heaven". "Its not tipping we believe in, its over-tipping).

        Overall, I'd give the service a solid A, and the food a B-. We won't be rushing back, unless someone gives us another gift cert. There is better food and better value for our dining dollar closer to home.

        1. xcptnl Jan 22, 2010 09:22 AM

          I knew this could not be Orange MA but had to really make sure :(

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