Andre the Giant

Every night after the 6:00 news, I have dinner.  A sandwich and a pickle.  The sandwich might be tuna, ham and cheese, or roast beef.  The pickle may be half-sour or dill.  But every night, it’s a sandwich and a pickle. 

So that made the latest version of My Dinner with Andre all the more delightful.

Andre Ghiglia is the maitre d’ at Cavey’s French restaurant in Manchester.

Cavey’s is two restaurants in one building.  Italian at street level, French downstairs.  The French restaurant is our “special occasion” place.

Steve Cavagnaro is the owner and executive chef of both restaurants.  But downstairs belongs to Andre.  He’s semi-retired now, and admits his back bothers him a bit.  But he still glides across the room, and makes you feel as if you’re a king and queen for an evening. 

From Cavey's website

Our 30th anniversary meant we had been visiting Cavey’s for 30 years.  We recalled how intimidated we were in the early years.  What exactly were those dishes on the menu?  How can I possibly order a bottle of wine without embarrassing myself?  How the hell am I gonna pay for this???

We remembered the first time we couldn’t read the menu without glasses, and we didn’t have any.  (The waiter graciously recited the menu, dish by dish.)

And last Saturday night, we just enjoyed being there.  Catching up with Andre.  Enjoying his company and his expertise.  Letting him select the wine.  (He knows we don’t want to break the bank).  Thankful that we can afford the occasional splurge on a wonderful meal in an elegant room so close to home. 

By the way, tonight is ham and cheese and a half sour.

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About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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10 Responses to Andre the Giant

  1. Glad you enjoyed it- Happy Anniversary to both of you!
    So- on the way home from Your Dinner with Andre, did you have an argument about the benefits/curses of the electric blanket?
    🙂

  2. Cat says:

    Sounds like you and the Mrs had a wonderful time of “Remembering When”.
    I had no idea Caveys was still around.
    I wish you both another healthy & happy, 30 years. : )

  3. Wendy says:

    A belated Happy Anniversary to you and your wife. 🙂

  4. hendu says:

    I like your style, today turkey and cheese and two kosher spears.

  5. Bob says:

    I have to comment on this…bear with me…

    I was at Cavey’s for ten years…my wife for 25…at the time…early 80″s… there was a staff of about six full time waiters and three or four bus boys…no women at the time…100 covers a night back in the day was the norm…Steve and his food were 30 years ahead of most chefs in this country…it was a wonderful place to work.

    I met Andre on my first day…
    He called me “chef” from the start… well before I earned it or had any right to use that title…and he still does…25 years after I left. I worked side by side with him for about six years.

    Andre was at his best when he recognized someone imtimidated by the atmosphere or menu…and I remember countless young couples who he would shepherd through a meal …and by the time they were done…some young woman would be greatly impressed by her dates savvy handling of the evening…both never knowing that the skilled hand of Andre had ensured the young suitor looked like a veteran of fine dining…

    He matched people tastes with their pocketbooks and would gently guide people to reasonablel prices wines and foods…but was also the master of the “amuse bouche” and a special course…he could make a cup of coffee look special.

    Andre is the last of a breed and for those of us who work in this industry…what he taught just by being a kind and perfect gentleman…and a great father ans husband..,.will be hard to find.

    Andre never made the money he could have by moving to a role at the casino or in the city…he was dedicated to his craft…and I am not sure you can explain that to many people today.

    I am thrilled you recognized him and brought him a few moments of recognition…

    PS: Offer him a “Pineau des Charentes” the next time you see him. You’ll be in the club…

    • Gerry says:

      Bob, thank you for this wonderful addendum to the post. I love the background.

      And for everyone else, if you’re ever in Manchester looking for a great and affordable meal, Bob and his wife own a place called Mulberry Street. You’ll love it!

  6. magsx2 says:

    Hi Gerry,
    Happy Anniversary to you and your wife. Sounds like you had a lovely night out, it really is nice to look back on some memories, and yes even to have a bit of a laugh at them as well.

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