What this blog is about.

Finding excellent food and service is often a challenge anywhere. So much can go wrong. Whether it be the food, service, atmosphere or price. I admit, I am a food snob. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy simple meals as well as those I expect to pay top dollar for. However, I believe one should get what one pays for. I hope to be able to guide you to the best places to eat in the shoreline area.

I have found that the biggest challenge in running a successful restaurant is consistency. And, I recognize that all places can have an off day, Therefore, should I end up trashing a local eatery, I will extend a second chance experience. However, I think it is important to be honest with you about my experiences. It is not my intention to close local business. Hopefully, they will receive my reviews as creative criticism.

Please contact me via email with your comments, questions, and restaurant review suggestions. davidkosky@hotmail.com.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tiberio's - Old Saybrook

Tiberio's Restaurant
1395 Boston Post Road
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
(860) 388-2459

Lunch: Tue.-Fri
Sun. 4-9pm

Price Guide


Finding a restaurant that can satisfy with food, atmosphere and service is extremely difficult. Sometimes one aspect can make-up for a short coming. But, to be able to put it all together, is rare. I have been to many Italian restaurants in my day. Many are "cookie cutter" places that don't really offer anything unique or that show little inspiration from the region of Italy they claim to be from. But at Tiberio's you will find true contemporary cuisine influenced by the regions of Naples and Tuscany.

Before getting to the food, Tiberio's offers a very comfortable dining space. You are not hit with loud cliche music playing. The dining room is stylish and the lighting goes unnoticed. Which is great. Not too bright, not too dark. The staff is attentive, calm, polite and professionally charming. When tables were cleared, I did not hear any clanging or banging of dishes or glasses. All in all, very peaceful. It may seem unusual to mention aspects like this but I think it is important for a restaurant to have a great aura about it. I want to feel comfortable and I want to peacefully anticipate my meal. Tiberio's atmosphere will let you sit back, relax and enjoy.

When we arrived, I introduced myself to one of the owners and told her why I was there. At times I don't do this. But, I did so because I wanted to sample as much food as I could and asked if the chef would send over samples of what he thought we might want to try. Which he did. Repeatedly. I had to be careful not to fill up too quickly.

Tiberio's menu is simple yet complex. They don't overwhelm you with too many dishes yet each dish, whether an entree or appetizer, is complex with it's ingredients, seasoning and sophisticated flavors. Before I get to what we had for dinner let me comment on three of the samplings the chef sent to our table. The first caught me off-guard. Unless you live in the Mediterranean, you wouldn't normally have what arrived. In front of me was served a Polipo Condito, or, Octopus Salad. I never would have tried this. But, being a blogger.... Anyway, The salad was served cold with thinly sliced pieces of octopus marinated in a vinaigrette and mixed with greens. Ummmm, what to expect? What I found was octopus has very little flavor of its own. The center of the tentacles have a nice texture and are not chewy. The natural flavor actually comes from the outer skin and is quite nice except for.... the texture.  For me, it is a little slimy or fatty. If you don't like that texture you won't like this salad. If it is not a problem for you, it is really amazing. Everything in this salad was extremely fresh. In case you were wondering, the octopus comes from Portugal not the Long Island Sound.  $11.00

Polipo Condito

The second sampling to arrive was The Risotta ai Quattro Formaggio e Asparagi. Which is risotto with four cheeses and asparagus. No mystery here but I was once again pleased with how fresh everything was. The risotto was cooked perfectly, the cheeses mixed nicely with the strength of flavor belonging to the Gorgonzola, and the asparagus was terrific. As an entree this dish is $20.00

Risotta ai Quattro Formaggio e Asparagi

Unfortunately, for our third sample, I forgot to take a picture. I'm sorry. I'm very sorry because it was awesome. The chef prepared three large scallops which were cooked to perfection. The scallops don't usually come alone but are included in a shrimp and scallop entree.

During all this gorging, we did order the appetizer special, Piedina. Piedina is a cold dish consisting of creamy ricotta cheese spread on flat bread with roasted red peppers and topped with prosciuttto. Very nice way to set-up your palette. Again, I'm sorry I forgot to take a picture. It looked so amazing; we just dug right in.
Our salads came next. After the three samplings and the Piedina I wasn't going to take up much room with my salad but I did have a enough bites to report....fresh, crisp and a unique blueberry dressing.

Now, it is time for the main course. We ordered three different dishes. One from the fish section, one from the meat section and finally mine from the pasta section.

The fish entree was Branzino al Forno. Which is also known as a  Mediterranean seabass or in Northern Italy, as spigola. It is an extremely popular fish and light on bones that are easily removed. At Tiberio's it is filleted and pan cooked with garlic herbs, tomato and white wine. It is also prepared with the skin intact on one side. So be prepared as you use your fork or flip the fish over. As for the taste: Just wonderful. Perfectly cooked with great texture. If you like our white fish you'll love this. $24.00

Branzin al Forno

From the meat section came Misto di Carne. This actually had three different meats. A New York Strip, a Pork Chop and Sausage. All grilled and served with roasted potatoes and an Italian Vegetable Salsa. What struck me most about this dish was the pork chop. Yes, I said the pork chop. Unbelievable. I am so incredibly picking about meats. But this was mouth watering. The chop was quite thick, close to an inch and a half, yet, so tender. I mean, this chop was perfect. The seasonings on all three pieces were terrific and included one of my favorites, rosemary. Also, the potatoes were really great. I hate to come on too strong but these guys know what they are doing. The only drawback for me was the sausage. I don't mean the flavor. The sausage had some grissel and I just don't care for that. But if you love pork and a New York Strip, you can just nibble on the sausage. $26.00.

                                                                        Mistro di Carne

The final dish was from the pasta side. I had the Gnochetti al Filetto di Pomodori. Which is potato gnocchi with tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil. If you are a fan of gnocchi, then you know how bad it can be. These are homemade and perfectly tender and well cooked. I can't rave about it only because it is not one of my favorite dishes. So why did I order it? I really wanted the Misto di Carne but also wanted to try something someone else might be curious about. My guest thought it was great. So, if you like gnocchi, you will love it. $18.00

                                                    Gnochetti al Filetto di Pomodori

I should also mention that between our samplings and salads we enjoyed their fresh bread which is served with two spreads and olive oil. The spreads are super but save room for your entrees. Tiberio's servings are generous.

We also ordered coffee, cappuccino and dessert. I had the Tarimisu, very good but not as sweet as what you may be use. My guest had the Chocolate Souffle. While the taste was great, I wouldn't call it a true souffle. It was a little on the dense side. Coffee was good but the cappuccino was quite strong. I'm not going to knock it because if you like European coffee, you would think it was perfect.

Tiberio's also offers a great wine list and some unique cocktails. I had an Italian beer, Peroni, very nice $4.50. All in all our bill for three people came to $128.52 not including the tip.

Tiberio's is an exceptional restaurant and we are very lucky to have them on the Shoreline. Please, go and enjoy their wonderful creations.

Recommendation: What are you waiting for?? Get there.

Tiberio's Restaurant on Urbanspoon