I decided to cash in my free Family Style for 4 last week. As mentioned before, I'd already promised two seats to my friends Ryan and Kyle, and rounded out the group with my friend Jenny who's also been a slave to the restaurant world for years.
We met at the restaurant at 8, thinking it would be late enough on a weeknight to not interrupt their dinner rush. I got a little nervous to bring my friends... At my previous serving job, if I walked in my guests and I were treated like kings and queens, but I'm still a newbie at Bloggiano's. No one on the night shifts know me. One of our assistant managers walked by as I stood by the host stand. He saw me smiling, but had no idea who I was. See! I told you that stupid uniform hides that I can look attractive! Anyway, we were seated to one of the booths and I was excited to see a familiar face come up to serve us, one of the guys who closes with me on most lunch shifts. We got our order in and got ready for the feast with a bottle of Pinot Noir...
Our Family Style Dinner Menu Choices
Two Appetizers: Zucchini Fritte and Stuffed Mushrooms
Two Salads: Chopped Salad and Spinach Salad
Four Entrées: Rigatoni D, Mom's Favorite Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan, and Chicken Saltimbocca
Two Desserts: Apple Crostada and Pumpkin Cheesecake
If you remember correctly, Family Style is normally a flat rate per person, and you make choices from the categories I listed above and it comes out in three courses, with portions made for the amount in your party. It's a LOT of food!
After the first course came out (the apps and salads), I warned my friends not to eat too much too soon....there's a ton of food coming! Normally, Family Style is replenish-able by course, but you have to ask for more of what you want, and you have to eat some of it! You can't just order it, simply to have it boxed up for later. (People always try to cheat the system.) My jaw dropped when Danny, our server, came out with the mushrooms and shrugged, "I figured...why not?"
When the second course came out, I HAD to get a pic for the blog. It's just too good.
Oh yeah. At 6 o'clock, you'll see the Famous Rigatoni D....the dish that made Ryan and Kyle want to drive over the hill to the Valley.
Thank goodness my friends are good eaters, because we powered through the second course until we felt completely stuffed. (I'm glad I purposely wore my stretchy pants and a top that hid my food baby!) Just when I was ordering the boys to eat more..."I worked hard for this dinner, dammit!!"... Danny walked up with refires of the Rigatoni D and Chicken Parm.
"I figured....hey, why not?!?"
A second bottle of Pinot later, and we were packing up 10 to-go boxes of food to take home and praying we'd be able to eat the dessert. What an intense amount of food...I swear I started to get the food sweats, Jersey Shore-style. But I held strong for my favorite: Apple Crostada! For a party of four, we SHOULD have gotten one of each dessert, but Danny (who I am now realizing wants me to be a fatty) brought us TWO of each! The crostada was just as amazing as I hoped, but I felt like I'd never eat again afterward.
A bill that should have been $206 without tip turned out to be $85 with the free Family Style! Even though it wasn't a totally "free" dinner, it was an amazing experience and I'm so glad I could share it with my friends! Thanks so much you guys!!! Of course, we left Danny a huge tip for hooking us up and making it fun!
I didn't eat for a whole day after. And I'm pretty sure my friends ate Bloggiano's leftovers the rest of the week!