A hairdresser explained to me her theory about why some people never update their look over the years. She believed that perhaps they prefer to stay frozen in the time they were the most happy. Visiting Geppetto's for the second time reminds me of her words. Personally, I'd like to see this restaurant spend some effort and dollars on updating their establishment; replacing paneling, new water glasses, ditching the Naugahyde tablecloths, lighting that feels more romantic or intimate, and a fresher approach to their recipes. I'm sure their regulars would disagree--for some it can be reassuring to never have things change. Then there are the Salemites who believe we have too many "frozen in time" restaurants in our town. Count me in that last group. I don't want all the local diners to disappear, but I would like to see decor and (to some extent) menus keep up with the times or just enjoy an occasional facelift.
Now that I've finished with my thoughts on that subject, I'll share our dinner experience with you.
It was N's and my blood date night and also First Wednesday downtown. My plan was for the two of us to walk the blocks and see what was going on after our donations (maybe check how busy The Wild Pear was). All of those plans and thoughts escaped me once we began to walk to the car. My brain slipped back to my previous idea of taking another trip to Geppetto's for dinner.
We pushed open the restaurant door and walked past the pizza window and bar entrance to where a waitress waited with menus and a smile. She escorted us to a table, told us about the specials, brought us water and a drinking glass full of their complimentary breadsticks with whipped butter. Another couple was dining in a booth two tables away in the dining area she sat us in. We looked over the menu to decide what we wanted to drink with dinner. We opted for half a liter of their house Chianti. (Later I noticed a placard on the table for Pale Horse Stout. Nice to see a local establishment supporting another local business.) We went ahead and ordered our dinners at the same time as the wine; I chose the evening's special--Chicken Cannelloni, and N picked out Cannelloni Garibaldi. Both of us decided on the Tortellini Soup, instead of Minestrone or a green salad.
The Tortellini Soup arrived--cheese filled pasta in a clear broth seasoned with garlic. The flavor of the soup was okay, but the appearance and the lack of anything interesting in the broth were disappointing. Since we both ordered a cannelloni dish, our entrees appeared identical. The sauce was okay, but somewhat one dimensional--the main flavors were tomato and garlic. Our waitress took good care of us, bringing our soup, bread and entrees out as soon as we cleaned our plates.
If you are a regular, I'd be interested in hearing what your menu favorites are and what it is that brings you back again and again.
616 Lancaster Dr. NE
Salem, OR 97301
HOURS: Monday – Friday 11:30am - 10:30pm • Saturday & Sunday 4:00pm – 10:30pm