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Tom Cavallo's

40 Genesee Street, New Hartford, NY - (315) 735-1578
Posted By Bill Homan on 2/27/2014 4:47:00 AM
My history with Tom Cavallo's dates back to 1989, when as a freshman at Utica College, my entire dormitory floor would head over there on Monday night for the $1.99 all-you-can-eat pasta special. Fast forward a few years and the Tuesday night Buffalo wing special was a big draw for my friends and I. In the past 20 years I have been back countless times while visiting the area and it has been the post-race lunch spot the last two years for my friend Doug and I after running the local Boilermaker Road Race.

Cavallo's has a focus on Italian-American food and I still love their spaghetti & meatballs after all these years. The chicken parmigiana comes served on a hot metal plate, cheese browned, sauce bubbling and with a crispy exterior. I'm a chicken parm hound from way back and this is one of the best I have ever tried. They also feature many local specialties such as chicken riggies, greens, hats & broccoli, "tunnel" sandwiches, mushroom stew, Buffalo wings, roasted long hot peppers and "upside down" pizza. While it is a few hours from Buffalo, the Central NY region has a wealth of great places for Buffalo wings and for me, Cavallo's is right at the top. Crispy, meaty wings doused in a buttery, tangy, vinegary and spicy sauce are a "must-have" every time I go there.

Chicken riggies are a local dish that can be found on the menu at just about every Italian-American restaurant in the region and each one has its own recipe. The combination of rigatoni pasta, sauteed chicken, mushrooms, roasted peppers, olives and a cream-based tomato sauce is a very comforting dish and Cavallo's gets it right. My new favorite though has to be their "tunnel" sandwich. The inside of the bread gets tunneled out somewhat and mine was filled with meatballs, sausage, roasted long hot peppers and marinara sauce, then covered in mozzarella and basted with butter and garlic and baked in an oven. Not an everyday sandwich but an indulgence that must be had more than once.

Cavallo's has been around since 1949 and it is definitely a local neighborhood place. On my last visit, Doug's aunt was reminiscing of the times she came here with her high school and college friends many decades ago. Everything is just as good (or better) than I remember and I hope they are around for another 65 years.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Meatball & Sausage Tunnel
Chicken Riggies
Chicken Parmigiana
Loaf of bread
Buffalo Wings
Side of Spaghetti
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

This pizza looked and smelled great but I was so full that I didn't try a slice.  On my short list for the next visit.
"This pizza looked and smelled great but I was so full that I didn't try a slice. On my short list for the next visit."
Bill Homan





This meatball & sausage tunnel (with roasted long hot peppers might be my new favorite sandwich.
"This meatball & sausage tunnel (with roasted long hot peppers might be my new favorite sandwich."
Bill Homan


Over the years I've found that whenever chicken parmigiana is served on a hot metal plate it is a sign of good things to come.
"Over the years I've found that whenever chicken parmigiana is served on a hot metal plate it is a sign of good things to come."
Bill Homan


In a region full of choices the version of Chicken Riggies at Cavallo's is top notch.
"In a region full of choices the version of Chicken Riggies at Cavallo's is top notch."
Bill Homan


Some of the best Buffalo wings I've ever hung a lip on.
"Some of the best Buffalo wings I've ever hung a lip on."
Bill Homan


The spaghetti & sauce at Cavallo's has had me coming back for over a quarter century.
"The spaghetti & sauce at Cavallo's has had me coming back for over a quarter century."
Bill Homan


A loaf of their warm, crusty bread is the perfect accompaniment to just about any dish.
"A loaf of their warm, crusty bread is the perfect accompaniment to just about any dish."
Bill Homan


Graffiti on the wall in the entryway has become a tradition over the years.
"Graffiti on the wall in the entryway has become a tradition over the years."
Bill Homan


If you're not familiar with the term 'tunnel sandwich'...
"If you're not familiar with the term 'tunnel sandwich'..."
Bill Homan



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