The Ferrari family settled in Mt. Pleasant and opened their restaurant on the point where 10th Street hits Congress Street in 1974. They’ve been packing in diners hungry for authentic Italian food ever since.
Ferrari’s is famous for their $7.95 Wednesday night pasta special. Get there early!
I ventured in early one Tuesday night to find they had both a $7.95 pasta special and some other dinner specials as well.
For $7.95, I had my choice of ravioli, stuffed shells or manicotti, all served with salad. $10.95 would get me a serving of chicken parmigiana and $11.95, bracciole. Both dishes were served with a salad and side of pasta.
I perused the regular menu to see what else they offered.
Appetizers all came in 2 sizes – small and large. Small sizes ranged from $8.50 for greens to $13.50 for a hot antipasto with seafood, mushrooms, eggplant and peppers. There were steamed clams and clams casino, shrimp scampi, roasted red peppers and the intriguing sounding “Italian Home Fries” – potatoes, onions, hot peppers and cheese, among the choices.
There were many veal and steak dishes from $17.25 for veal and peppers to $24.95 for Veal Mafioso – a thick veal chop smothered in onions, mushrooms and hot peppers. I had the Steak Mafioso last time I was there and it was spectacular. Perfectly cooked steak, the hot peppers giving the dish a real pizzazz.
Seafood dishes ranged from $19.95-$26.95.
There are scads of pasta choices. Ferrari’s offers pasta shapes you don’t get in other restaurants like farfalle, perciato and succhietto and homemade spaghetti and fettuccine. Have it with marinara, red sauce or olio e aglio.
I decided to order 2 of the specials and figured I’d take half of each home and get dinner and a lunch out of them. I chose the ravioli as an appetizer and the bracciole.
First, I was served a salad. In addition to the expected lettuce and tomato, there were chunks of cheese, loads of roasted red peppers and sliced black olives – major points for that. Definitely a cut above your usual restaurant dinner salad.
The next plate out was my ravioli. Six large round pillows filled with cheese nestled in the house red sauce. Chopped basil gave it a wonderful aroma and extra bite. I only ate 3 in order to save room for the next course.
Nothing could have prepared me for what appeared next. Out came the bracciole. It was – in a word – gigantic!. It was at least 8 inches long and about 4 inches in diameter in the middle, perched on a plate, nay a platter, in a pool of the red sauce. I was dumbfounded. 4 people could easily have shared the portion. Accompanying the braccioli was the “side” of linguine with aglio e olio. I have seen dinner portions of pasta that were smaller than this side.
I know bracciole is stuffed so I expected that most of the torpedo would be breading. Cutting into it proved me wrong. The entire portion was meat. And, OH, what meat. Fall apart tender, I didn’t need the knife. The wonderful beef flavor that only flank steak can give. There was a little stuffing with garlic and herbs to enhance the beefy flavor.
I only managed to eat about ¼ of the serving and 3 mouthfuls of the pasta – the aglio e olio was simple and perfect. I cannot imagine how Ferrari’s manages to serve all that for $11.95.
I did save room for dessert – don’t ask me how.
My waitress, Jackie, informed me that the cakes were brought in from Dolce & Biscotti, a well-known and popular bakery. The chocolate layer cake I chose was a sinful blend of moist cake and deep, dark chocolate frosting ($5.50) It was heaven.
I couldn’t eat but 2 bites of the cake. Oh well, lots of leftovers to go home. 4 boxes to be exact and that is where another quality I liked about Ferrari’s shone through. Without my asking, the busboy came out with a big bag and packed my leftover boxes in it. He told me he would help me to my car, if necessary. THAT IS SERVICE. The need anticipated and handled before the customer has to ask.
The total for my dinner: salad, ravioli, bracciole, side of pasta, dessert, 2 iced teas and tax was $29.50. I got a lunch and 3 more suppers out of the leftovers.
Good home cooked food, family atmosphere, great service, friendly. Ferrari’s.
Ferrari’s Italian Restaurant: 1254 Congress St. Schenectady 518-382-8865
Open: Mon – Thu 11:30 am – 9:00 pm
Fri 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Sat 11:30 am – 10:00 pm