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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
As I've said dozens of times elsewhere on this site, we usually avoid hotel restaurants in order to sample the true, local cuisine where the locals eat. We normally only dine at hotel restaurants when we're tired, hungry or arrive at our destination late. Well in this case, all three applied and I'm glad they did. Al Dente was a big hit!
Al Dente is in the Hyatt Regency Guam Hotel in a great location right on Tumon Bay and with a nice beach.
From the moment we were seated, our waiter was just wonderful. He sensed that we were dead tired and went the extra mile to make us feel right at home. An absolutely wonderful selection of warm bread and breadsticks arrived on the table just nano-seconds after we were seated and the accompanying butter was outstanding. We ordered a bottle of inexpensive but good white wine and began going over the menu.
The menu features a huge list of starters (appetizers), soups, pastas, pizzas along with fish, fowl and meat. We started like we usually do at an Italian joint with an order of fried calamari. It was golden brown and perfect. My wife was ravenous and also ordered a bowl of minestrone and raved about it.
Most Italians start with a small pasta dish then move onto a main course of fish, meat, or chicken and then finish with a salad. But that's in Italy. Most Americans just order a large pasta dish and that's the direction we headed.
We each moved on next to a Caesar salad and it was very well done. Lots of garlic, which is always a big hit with me.
My wife had a wonderfully meaty and cheesy lasagna and loved it. I had my favorite Italian pasta -- linguine with clam sauce. I had a choice of white wine, olive oil and butter or red sauce. I chose the red sauce (marinara) and it was just great. Even in that way off part of the world, the clams seemed fresh. Too often you get clams out of a can. This dish probably had 10 or 12 little necks cooked until just open (perfect) and it was obvious that there was plenty of clam broth in the sauce.
My wife finished with some sort of rich chocolate dessert. Can't remember exactly what it was but she loved it. I sipped a cup of coffee to end the meal, as always.
It was very nicely done restaurant. Elegant yet not stuffy. If you're ever in Guam, I highly recommend Al Dente to you. And if you're looking for a place to stay, The Hyatt Regency Guam is a great hotel -- best on the island.
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