“A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.”

New York Proverb

Having lived in the 518 most of my life, there are a few restaurants that come to mind when someone says “Italian food” and Canali’s (126 Mariaville Rd, Schenectady) is one of them. Strangely enough, even though it was a restaurant name that I’ve heard on many an occasion, I had never been there. Shocking, no? This restaurant is a bit expensive for my recent college grad wallet but thankfully my Mom treated me to a wonderful dinner (Thanks Mom!).

The restaurant was a little tricky to find and my Mom had been there before! Rotterdam, like Troy, is a little hard to navigate through if you don’t live there so prepare yourself! We started off our dinner with some wine, a blend, and neither my Mom or I particularly enjoyed it but we drank it anyway.

The best part, as of any restaurant, is the food. We started with a half dozen mussels ($5.99)- “New Zealand Green Lip Mussels sauteed in butter and fresh garlic, topped with sherry wine and fresh tomatoes.” They were fantastic. For $6, the mussels were big and the sauce tasted great that we ate the rest of it up with bread. For dinner, I got homemade fettuccine carbonara ($14.99) – “Prepared with sauteed onions, prosciutto and our Alfredo cream sauce. I was so happy I made this decision. Not only was the homemade fettuccine some of the best pasta I’ve had in awhile but the sauce was perfect. It was way too much food for me to eat on top of a salad on top of mussels so I took most of it home to eat the next day. My Mom got a garlic chicken with a side of fettuccine (which cost more) and although it was the same pasta, her’s tasted more chewy than mine.

After being in the fridge overnight it congealed, as Alfredo sauce usually does. I just threw it in the microwave and it tasted just as good! The only problem with putting it in the microwave is the butter melted and it just pooled at the bottom of my dish. I just avoided it and it made it healthier, right? Just kidding.

Anyway, Canali’s has homemade Italian food. You don’t need anything more than that to get you to try them out.