Back on track

“Closed for cleaning.” This sign on a restaurant door doesn’t tend to leave a good taste in one’s mouth. Off Center Cafe has undergone a management change and with that a makeover. Worries about bug or mold abated, the family business is shifting hands.

The restaurant did undergo a recent inspection by the Marion County Health Department on Jan. 12 and received a score of 77. There were a few major violations, such as the prep units holding food being at undesirable 49 degrees and food items without an expiration date. They were, however, reinspected the following day and cleared of all violations.

As part of shift of ownership, Off Center closed to clean and paint. Everything else, they insist, remains the same. While former owner Duncan Fraser no longer holds the position of lead cook, the menu remains consistent. Fraser’s step-daughter Rosie Adams is the new manager.

For more information, contact the restaurant at new phone number 503-581-6418.

A taste of Italy

Though it can’t be compared to a gondola ride through Venice, those who wish for an authentic take on an Italian dining experience can find a full four course experience at Caruso’s Italian Cafe in Keizer on Feb. 14.

Begin the evening event as early as 5 p.m. or as late as 9 p.m. with a bottomless glass of champagne. Accompanying the bubbly drink to start is quattro formaggio e calzonette con spinaci (four cheese and spinach calzonetti) and insalata di Caesar con parmigiano raso (classic Caesar salad with shaved parmigiano). Patrons have three choices of main entree: pollo con fungi di porcini (chicken with Porcini mushroom sauce), vitello alla griglia con Madeira (grilled veal chop with Madeira wine demi-glace), or scampi ripiena con granchio e gambero (crab and shrimp stuffed scampi). Fourth and final is the sweetest course, a dessert dish of Moscato poached pear with Pinot Noir chocolate sauce and Zabiglione.

This Valentine’s dinner costs $45 per person and reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, call 503-393-8272.