Mis Main Eats: Cafe Rinaldi in Old Forge

Filet Mignon from Cafe Rinaldi

Abby Blockus, Editor-in-chief

I’ve spoken before about how I have a select few restaurants I pick from when it comes to celebrating occasions in my family. Over winter break, I celebrated my 20th birthday and decided this year I wanted to try some place new for our celebratory meal. While doing so, I might’ve just found a new favorite.

For my birthday meal, I went to Cafe Rinaldi in Old Forge with my family. On the surface, this restaurant seems like the usual Old Forge-typical Italian joint, but it far exceeded my expectations.

Upon entering, you’re met with the usual low lighting and a two-part dining room that wraps around the entire building, offering many seats for hungry families looking to enjoy a meal. Of course, as most restaurants do anymore, a bar is also included for those 21+.

What I noticed was different between Cafe Rinaldi and other Old Forge restaurants I’ve been to in the past, is this place wasn’t loud. That may seem like a small difference, but I’m used to a loud, bustling dining experience. This place was none of that and it was a warmly welcomed change. The noise level almost felt odd for how crowded the restaurant was.

The staff was friendly and fast, cracking jokes with us and making us feel like we were regulars, even though it was the first time we dined there. Every table included a bread basket and, while the bread was rather cold, it was still very tasty. Our waitress and servers were fast, keeping our drinks full, as well as bringing our food fast, despite warning us of a possible wait.

My family ordered quite a bit of food while, including a tray of Old Forge pizza as well as a delicious risotto for which Cafe Rinaldi is known. Both were great appetizers to the main course.

I ordered a dozen steamed clams. This is a staple for my birthday meals, as the last few years I have always gotten clams with my meals. I also enjoyed a warm, delicious bowl of New England clam chowder. My main course was a 10 oz, filet mignon, covered in a bleu cheese based sauce, cooked to a perfect medium rare. This was, by far, the best steak I’ve had in my life, but don’t tell my father.

While a bit pricey, my meal at Cafe Rinaldi was very satisfying. I left feeling full, but not in a gross, overeating way, which was weird, considering how much I ate. We all agreed we will definitely go back. If you have the chance and want a delicious meal, check out this restaurant.