Being a local girl, I was glad to finally have an opportunity to eat at one of the finest Italian restaurants in the area, Tre Figlio, which has been in Galloway Township since 1989.
Upon entering, I found the atmosphere—for all its sophistications; white linen table cloths, beautiful Romanesque wall paintings, a quaint bar area and appropriately dim lighting—quite homey. It reminded me of crowding into the basement dinning room of my Great Aunt Kay’s house in Trenton for the feast of the seven fishes, the traditional Italian Christmas Eve meal, which of course, is a very pleasant memory.
I was happy to have brought my mother as my dinner date, given that she is one of the most scrutinizing consumers of Italian cuisine. The setting was to her taste, she said, both intimate and authentic, although, I have to add, hearing the sonorous strains of Andrea Bocelli over top of it all was a bit overkill.
Mom and I kicked off the evening with two glasses of red wine. I chose a nice Chilean Pinot Noir [$8] and mom went with her usual Napa Valley Cabernet [$12]. Delicious, she said.
Within minutes we had our complimentary loaf of Italian bread with poppy seeds and a really nice tomato-based sauce, which was served with squash, olives, eggplant and capers. The bread was so fresh and the sauce had so much substance, I thought I might just eat that.
However, after consuming almost half of the loaf, mom intervened with her usual dietary admonishment: “Don’t fill up on bread, honey.” I reluctantly put down my butter knife.
After receiving our first course, I was glad she had stayed my hand, for I was soon working through a lovely antipasti; fresh mushroom caps stuffed with creamy ricotta cheese, onions, bacon and tangy horseradish [$9.] Mom had gone with a lighter choice, the sweet and savory Insalata Capra [$9], a Mesculan field green tossed arrangement with green apples, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts in a Champagne Vinaigrette topped with crumbled goat cheese.
It’s a great seasonal choice, says mom. “Cranberries are perfect for fall.”
For our entree, mom and I got the same thing, Spinach and Crab Ravioli [$24], a new addition to the menu according to owner, Toni Cordivari, who circulated among her guests in the dinning room like a familiar relative.
While both dishes came drenched in a copious amount of Alfredo sauce, the raviolis were served el dente: very firm but not chewy. For the expensive pricing on the raviolis, the portion sizes were more than ample. Meaning, someone is surely getting raviolis for lunch tomorrow.
For dessert, mom and I were so full we ended up splitting a chocolate tartufo, an ice cream dessert, which was served in a shell of hardened chocolate sauce. We cracked the surface to find both chocolate and vanilla ice creams packed inside with a pinch of fruit syrup and coconut shavings at its center; the perfect denouement to a wonderful evening.
While a bit on the pricey side, I’d say for the right occasion Tre Figlio is worth the splurge. Especially, if one wishes to experience fine dining, without the hassle of going into Atlantic City or Philadelphia. Also, given its proximity to Stockton College and the Performing Arts Center, it’s a great place to enjoy a meal after a night of theater.