For the last few weeks, we've been checking out what's on the menu at some of your favorite restaurants across the region. The choices are based on the feedback you gave us on our Facebook page. This week, Brad Vivacqua headed to a Liverpool restaurant to try one of your favorite appetizers.
LIVERPOOL, N.Y. -- Nothing compliments a good dinner like a great appetizer. With so many restaurants in our area specializing in satisfying starters, we headed to our Facebook page where you told us about your favorites. That brought us to Santangelo's in Liverpool for their fried calamari, also known as fried squid.
Obviously, a few places specialize in making calamari across our region, but evidently think Santangelo's does it the best. We're here with Chef Mike who's going to tell us a little bit more about it.
"The calamari is cleaned cut and prepared, then washed and then we soak it in buttermilk. Our breading starts with all purpose flour, then cracker crumbs, a blend of grated cheeses, salt, pepper, garlic, then we mix that up real well,” Chef Mike said. "Then we take the calamari, after its been soaked in the buttermilk and we dredge it inside of the breading that we used. Then we'll take our calamari, we're going to cook it in some peanut oil, 325 degrees, for approximately 30 seconds to 45 seconds."
Chef Mike continued, "You don't want to overcook it because it becomes tough, but you don't want to undercook it because it's too chewy. Once we're done frying it, it gets put on a plate of course. We then finish it with some grated cheese and chopped parsley."
"We have three dipping sauces that the customers get to choose from. The traditional marinara sauce, the cocktail sauce and then we have a specialty sauce that we have here, it's an emulsified hot pepper vinaigrette," Chef Mike said.
This seafood starter may be a great option to get your taste buds flowing for an entree to follow.
Take a look at the menu and you'll find several dishes named after family members who work at the restaurant today. A personal touch and tasty selections keep the customers coming back.
"We have great staff, we have great clientele. A lot of our customers, we like to treat as our family. And if you ask a lot of them, they will definitely tell you that," Santangelo's manager Maria DeSalis said.
In addition to its calamari, Santangelo's is known for a number of appetizers and entrees as well. So the next time you're in Liverpool, perhaps you'll stop by this Old Liverpool Road restaurant and try this tasty fried calamari.