It’s become a tradition – the celebration of our anniversary with dinner at Calzolaio Pasta Company in Wilton.

Six years ago, for our 30th anniversary, I presented Linda with a new diamond for her finger. Tom and Rocell Marcellino didn’t come up with the diamond that night, but they did give us a Five Diamond meal.

Calzolaio was our favorite restaurant before we started writing our weekly Travelin’ Maine(rs) column 4 ½ years ago, and it still is today. This is the place we celebrate special events, host family gatherings, and drop by for pizza and beer on the deck.

The intimate back room, with its brick and granite walls, the super friendly staff, and the wonderful food, are worth the drive, no matter where you live.

A couple of weeks ago, I ran into a couple who said they’d driven to Calzolaio from a long distance to celebrate their anniversary, after reading our Travelin’ Maine(rs) column about our own wedding celebration there. And, no surprise to us, they loved it. It sounded like this would now be their tradition, too.

In 2013, we ate here with our friends Tom and Shelley Doak, who had celebrated their anniversary the night before at a well-known high-end expensive Portland restaurant. They said the food at Calzolaio was far better. They were very impressed.

This visit we shared their terrific antipasto and followed up with our all-time favorite entrée, eggplant parmesan. As  Linda describes it, the antipasto is “an impressively large plate of sliced meats and cheeses, marinated mushrooms, black olives, tomatoes, marinated fresh artichokes (prepared here), and roasted peppers. This beautiful presentation looks like it will fill you to the brim, but actually is very light. The thinly sliced meats and fresh or pickled vegetables really wake up your taste buds. It is a display of fine ingredients and far more than you’d get in Italy.”

The eggplant parmesan.

The eggplant parmesan.

The eggplant parm was first recommended to us by state Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, who drops in there often, sits down, and they automatically bring him a glass of wine and the eggplant parm. Yes, it is that good.

Calzolaio means “cobbler” or “shoemaker” and the restaurant is located in the former G.H. Bass show factory on Wilton’s Main Street. It’s a fantastic place, and you don’t have to be celebrating an anniversary to eat here!

 

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