Guam Diner Bytes: Capricciosa Ristorante Italiano
It’s great to be back on Guam! I just returned from an action-packed two-week trip (some holiday, some work) to the mainland where I visited family in Houston, Texas and in Tampa, Fla. I had not been in Florida in over 50 years.
I was able to attend my first North American Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) show in Orlando so was able to get first hand exposure to the most of the product lines I sell in my “day job”! I was also able to do some cooking and some outstanding restaurant dining in both Houston and Orlando, with reviews to follow in future newsletters.
I am glad I was able to return in time for the Feb. 15 Auction & Wine-Tasting to Benefit the Guam Girl Scouts! We sold over 223 tickets and have accumulated some pretty amazing and impressive silent auction items.
Finally, our prayers and condolences for those families who lost their loved ones in the recent, senseless killings that took place this past Tuesday night in Tumon’s Pleasure Island, the heart & soul of our tourist district. Guam is a safe and marvelous destination. We have to show the world that our islands love and goodwill are much stronger than the fear and hate that has been cast upon us.
Just prior to my departure on my 2-week trip to the Mainland, I had noticed new restaurant activity in Anigua. The first was the move of Big Al’s BBQ To Go from across Marine Corps Drive to its new location across the parking lot of Mark’s Hardware store. We first discovered Big Al’s BBQ and wrote about it in our July 6, 2012 newsletter.
The other restaurant that caught my eye back then has since opened. It is called Johnny’s Ocean View Grill and is located on the second floor of the Guam Lock & Key in a place formerly occupied by long-operating Downtown Kieu’s. I am curious to find out more about this new eatery, which seems to already have a personality.
“Capricciosa” means capricious in English. Capricious means whimsical, fantastic, irregular and even unrestrained. It’s possible to take this definition to heart when describing this authentic southern Italian restaurant! After all, the portions are “fantastic” and so large as to appear anything but “regular,” although I’ve been told by management that every ingredient is measured and weighed for consistency – that’s precision control for you!
The atmosphere and ambiance is light and cheerful – in fact, I don’t recall seeing a single frown or scowl on anyone’s face; everyone seems to be smiling or laughing (must be in the air!). The service from the wait staff was quite good and I’d say that they showed no “restraint” in ensuring that we received attentive service and were satisfied with the entrees. I should also mention that if you are going to either Tumon locations, you may have to wait for 30 minutes, as they are both quite busy. The Hagatna location doesn’t have as many tourists so you may not experience much of a wait.
I shared dinner tonight with Carol and Jasmine, two of my favorite people. When I talk about “large” portions at Capricciosa, you need to come with other people because these are served family style in large bowls. Our first item to arrive was our Caesar salad (Insalata - $11.99). This is really a lot of salad - much more than I could eat if I was dining alone. This was well prepared and with ingredients blended together for that classic Ceasar salad taste – romaine with parmesan cheese, eggs, a hint of anchovy, bacon bits, and topped with crunchy croutons.
We also had an appetizer - the Calamari Fritto (fried calamari - $7.25), which was alright. These were golden bronze with a lot of batter. Though the pieces were thick, they were tender. The cocktail sauce had a bit of a kick to it.
Our big dish of the night was delivered. It was the Meat Sauce Spaghetti ($17) with meatballs ($3 more). This is the favorite of a lot of families. There is enough for everyone. We’d ordered some garlic bread, which is another one of their popular items, along with their garlic cheese bread. What I had been most interested in trying out that night was their Acciughe Pizza, made with anchovies, garlic, and black olives ($13.99).
It was made on thin crust and had a remarkably fresh cheesy taste. I could taste the distinct flavor of the anchovy, which is an acquired taste for many. Other pizzas available include the Meat Lover’s Pizza, the Margherita, the Quattro Formagi (four cheese) and their own Capricciosa Pizza, with bacon, ham, and green bell peppers. Capricciosa is open all day Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Bring your friends!
Ken “The Guam Food Guy” Stewart