Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Laportos Flim Flam

Typical Average Joe luck – show up to a restaurant only to find it on vacation. While we were huddled around the “sorry we’re closed” sign, a buddy of mine suggested Laporto's but he didn’t think we were dressed to the nines so we should look elsewhere. Being an average joe, I threw caution to the wind. 

No sooner do I get in the door then I wish I had a collared shirt on. But who cares, I wasn’t wearing basketball shorts and a white t-shirt (like another friend) and my money is as green as the next guy’s. Anyway, I got a chance to see some of the meals when I walked in and this huge mound of fried calamari that looked too good to be true. Everything looked top shelf.

Once I saw the calamari I had to get it. I dove in as soon as the waitress put it down. After I ate a few pieces I noticed the garnish. It wasn’t just there to give it some visual pop, it propped up all the calamari. You end up with half as much as you think you get. It was definitely good and I’d order it again but that’s a major let down.

Every time I walk into an Italian restaurant, I can’t help but ask “how’s the veal?” If that reference flew over your head there’s a certain movie you need to watch right this minute. Anyway, I went with a pretty big group so I got to try a few different things.  The veal parm was really good and the veal Giuseppe was excellent. There was a lot of crab stuffed in there and the sauce was very good. Another friend had veal in a brown gravy sauce which was a little salty but very tasty. As for me? Well I chose poorly. (2 movie references now, try to keep up)

Calamari Fra Diavolo. I ordered it over linguini, medium spiciness. It looked great once it came out but once I tasted it, well…I definitely got a lot of slightly overcooked calamari but it was too spicy to enjoy. This coming from a guy who loves spicy foods.  I took most of it home and slowly finished it the next day.
Also not as good as it looks.
 Dessert? Something about raspberry mascarpone cheesecake sounded better than the other options (no tiramisu?!) so I took a gamble. Huge mistake. I even passed it around the table and nobody else liked it. It was bland and the cake itself was dry. I still made out better than the guy that got a cannoli. I’m surprised he still has teeth, they might as well have used one of the plates as the shell. Solid as a rock.

In the end it was an average meal with an above average sticker price. The thing with Laportos is they are masters of presentation. Everything I got looked better than it was. I made a bad choice with my dinner but the others I tasted were good so I may have to give them a second chance. 

I made out better than the guy at the next table who no doubt dropped at least $100 dinner for him and his date. He got flowers, bought food, wore a suit – the whole nine. When it was time to go he asked her what she wanted to do now. Once she stood up I heard the words “Go home” loud and clear. Sorry buddy, maybe you should order wine next time.


  1. Flim Flam is right! Seems like another case of a restaurant resting on its laurels. We had a similar experience at a British Pub that went in here in central Florida (The Red Lion Pub off of Highway 27). They started out great... but as they began to draw regular crowds, the food quality went south. Very disappointing.

  2. I have never gotten a bad meal at Laporto's. Always top shelf.