Sunday, May 19, 2024 May 19, 2024
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Restaurant Review: Ruggeri’s

This red-sauce based menu better find a way to appeal to those beyond its loyal, aging customer base.
photography by Kevin Marple

I’m no spring chicken, but as I walked through the dining room of Ruggeri’s in Preston Royal, I felt like one. It was a little before 6 on a Monday evening, and the space was already half full. A gentleman was playing a song on the piano in the corner. The song wasn’t “Feelings” but it was in that genre. As the waiter spread the napkin across my lap, I surveyed my fellow diners and realized I, at 58, was the youngest person in the room. So I wasn’t surprised to find a menu full of classic (read: red-sauce-based) Dallas Italian dishes. The portions are huge. One serving of baked lasagna stuffed with ricotta and sausage turned into three meals for me. The pasta was fresh, and the tomato sauce was cut with a light béchamel. For the Veal Oscar, a thin strip of pounded, off-color, almost gray veal was topped with what we think was crabmeat. Whatever it was, it was obscured by a cup of thick béarnaise sauce. We overheard the table next to us talking about the chicken parmigiano. Apparently the elderly couple adores it, and they go to Ruggeri’s every Monday night for their fix. Perhaps the loyal customer base is the secret to the success of Ruggeri’s. However, the kitchen had better start pleasing the younger set if it wants to stay in business much longer.

For more information on Ruggeri’s, visit our restaurant guide.