La Cena Ristorante
The place was La Cena Ristorante in Bensalem. The date was June 26, 2013 at 6pm.
The menu was scrumptious and the company was pleasant. The conversation was lively, with appropriate breaks for eating our meal. This is the brief, very brief, recounting of the second meeting of “Supping with the Suburbanite.” We had a blast!
There were twelve of us who gathered at La Cena including Jean Marie and Scott Rad, Gary and Donna Karetny, Marilyn and Rich Handler, Joan and Tim Corcoran and Shelly and Mark Katzoff. Allen and I completed the group. Some of us arrived early and were able to enjoy Happy Hour drinks and complimentary hor d’oevres. That got the ball rolling….
For those of you who haven’t been to this unexpected bit of Center City in Bensalem, as you enter La Cena, your eyes travel the full length of a beautiful bar area and then over to an expanse of white covered tables. Beautiful and very special, we were seated as a group in one of the smaller nooks where we could enjoy some privacy. The evening’s music wafted through the restaurant, but we were still able to enjoy the company. If conversations were missed, it was because there were so many of us talking to each other, across the table, on the side of the table or down the table. It was fun.
As we had before, we made arrangements for the first three courses and dessert. The “suppees” selected their entrees. We started off with a group of appetizers including Caprese Salad, Eggplant Rollatini and Fried Calamari. We gobbled everything down. Everyone agreed that the calamari was among the best they have had, not too chewy with just the right texture. I loved the eggplant; it was sliced very thin and rolled to perfection. Yum.
Next on the menu was a house salad composed of a spring mix. Followed by the pasta dish, we were starting to slow down. Everyone commented on the delicous tubular pasta made with fresh vegetables. Fresh eggplant, broccoli, asparagus and more, the pasta truly could have been an entree. It wasn’t and so we ordered our entrees, able to “rest a bit” while the chef was preparing our dishes individually.
We had a choice of chicken, veal or fish. We were a veal and fish table. Not a piece of chicken ordered! The veal mavens thought the Marsala was delicious. Served with a veggie and potato, doggie bags were already being requested. I ordered the salmon and enjoyed a beautiful filet with spinach and mashed potato. It was really yummy. I don’t think I’m biased when I say that everyone was very pleased with their meal, the ambiance, the service, etc. We chose well.
Most of us shared “stuff” about our lives. How many children or grandchildren we had. Working or retired? The Rads have three young boys and so this evening was a night out for them. The Handlers were waiting for word on a soon-to-be-born great grandchild. (The baby arrived the next day!) Everyone was curious to know how and when we started the magazine. And they were trying to meld our personalities with what they read in the Uptight Suburbanite. Jean Marie said Allen and I sound just like our writing… I THINK that’s a good thing. I reminded everyone that I have the best job any wife could want. “Every month I get to take a red pen to what my husband says (writes) and he can’t do anything about it!!” We all agreed a round table would be more conducive for everyone to meet. It’s difficult when the table is long and you can’t really talk to the diners at the other end of the table. Hopefully we can remedy this logistic by our next meeting.
While the talk continued, dessert and coffee was served. After all, no matter how full you are, dessert needs to be sampled! We had the best cannolis and a tiramisu with a gentle kick that did not go unnoticed. We asked for a bit extra, only to have the “leftovers” go home with our guests. Perhaps next time, I would include some gelato with our dessert… Something cold would have been refreshing. But I didn’t really miss it then and probably wouldn’t miss it next time.
Dessert came and disappeared and we continued talking. No politics, interestingly. We just talked about ourselves, other restaurants, and the scheme of life in general. Our guests agreed that our “supping” idea was wonderful and wanted to know when they were meeting the next time. Unfortunately, I had to tell them, you get invited just once. We’ve gotten such a great response that a number of gatherings are planned.
If you’ve decided you’d like to join our dinner table, please email your name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line: Supping with the Suburbanite. (Dinner is our treat!) We’ll put you on the invitation list and try to include you down the road.
La Cena Ristorante
2233 Galloway Road
Bensalem, PA 19020