The Pentagon

Closed February 2012

The Pentagon Restaurant is located on the wide stretch of Erie Blvd. just in front of GE. There have been several restaurants at this location dating back to the early ‘70s, but I have never eaten at any of them. When the Pentagon opened in late 2009, I said we’d have to visit because I had a coupon that gave a free meal on my birthday.  Alas, we had other plans that year and I never got around to trying it out.
A few weeks ago, a friend mentioned how good the Pentagon was and I decided to venture forth, by myself, and try it out.
I had been under the impression that the Pentagon was an Italian restaurant and though they serve many Italian specialties, it is much more.  For one thing, they have a selection of over 14 different steak entrees all certified, prime Black Angus beef. You can have your choice of sirloin, NY strip, prime rib, delmonico, rib eye, t-bone or filet mignon cuts. Prices range from $16.99 for an 8oz. sirloin to $26.99 for a 24oz. t-bone.  All dinners come with potato and vegetable or pasta. There is a nice salad bar that can be had for an additional $2.99 with your dinner or $6.99 by itself.
If beef is not your thing you can also choose chicken dishes like marsala, parmigiana and francaise or a Pentagon special called Chicken Dwyer which consists of two grilled chicken breasts served on a bed of escarole and beans ($15.99).
Veal lovers can choose from veal parmigiana, veal chops picotta or Veal Napladon which is veal sautéed with fresh mushrooms, shrimp and the Pentagon’s special marinara sauce.
Another winner in the “so many choices, I don’t know what to order” category is Seafood
There are twelve offerings: fried or broiled scallops, shrimp scampi or parmigiana, blackened salmon, broiled haddock, grilled swordfish, sesame tuna, seabass,  the fisherman’s feast which includes haddock, scallops and shrimp, Alaskan king crab legs and the Italian favorite, zuppa de pesce. Prices range from $19.99-$23.99. I don’t know of any other restaurant in the city that has so many seafood choices.
Lots of choices seems to be the theme of the Pentagon’s menu.  There were twenty-one appetizers listed including, classic antipasto, wings, stuffed mushrooms, mussels marinara, clams, oysters, fried calamari, greens and beans and a house invention called Italian nachos which topped the tortilla chips with sweet sausage, jalapenos, olives, green peppers, red onions and pecorino cream sauce.  Prices ranged from $6.99 – $10.99
Needless to say, I had a difficult time choosing between so many delicious sounding dishes.
Deciding to be somewhat good, I started with the salad bar. I helped myself to crispy lettuce and green pepper, cucumber, grape tomatoes, black olives and pepperocini. There were also some macaroni and potato salads that looked interesting and about half a dozen dressing choices.
Next, I got the soup of the day which was a very creamy, flavorful cream of mushroom. The mushrooms were chopped up small so each spoonful yielded a mouthful of mushrooms and cream. Wonderful, fresh Italian bread was served with an oil-vinegar dipping sauce to accompany my soup.
I was in the mood for Italian food that night so I opted for the “Italian Lover’s Trio” which was a combo of chicken parmigiana, lasagna and two stuffed shells with alfredo sauce. I was not disappointed.  The chicken breast was juicy and had just enough rich marinara sauce and cheese on it to enhance the bird without overpowering it as some parmigiana dishes at other establishments seem to want to do. The stuffed shells were big and perfectly cooked al dente, the seasoned ricotta filling and cheesy alfredo sauce a delicious counterpoint.
Then there was the lasagna.  I’m very picky about lasagna.  My grandmother made out of this world lasagna and I hold that standard against all comers.
The lasagna at the Pentagon was…. Fantastic!!!
Chunks of meat, gooey cheese, dark, rich tomato sauce and firm noodles melded together with each mouthful. Yum, yum, yum, yummy, yum, yum, yum.
I only ate half of each part of my trio in order to save room for some decadent dessert.
It was equally as yummy warmed up the next day.
When I saw the dessert menu, I thought $6.99 for the orange layer cake that I choose was a bit much. When I tasted the 5” high, moist cake with perfect orange butter cream frosting, I knew it was worth every penny. This is cake baking at its ultimate best.  I couldn’t finish but half of the very generous slice so it was a welcome snack the next day.
To say I was happy with my meal is an understatement. I was thrilled, delighted and can’t wait to come back to try a steak or some seafood.
In addition to dinner, the Pentagon serves lunch 11:30 am to 4:00 pm Mon. to Fri. and has several nightly specials. On Monday night, you can get a 16 oz. sirloin steak dinner for $16.99 and Tuesday night is parm night where chicken or haddock parm or stuffed shells with soup and a side of angel hair will set you back a mere – get this- $9.99.
Pizzas are also available and you can get them late on Thursday (11pm) and Fridays and Saturdays (midnight).
The Pentagon Restaurant: 154 Erie Blvd. Schenectady, NY 518-370-1978
Lunch   Mon-Fri 11:30 am – 4:00 pm
Dinner   Mon-Thu 4:00 pm – 9:30 pm with pizza till 11:00pm
Fri            4:00 pm – 10:00 pm with pizza till midnight
Sat           4:30 pm – 10:00 pm with pizza till midnight

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