Dining Out: The Dautaj in Warwick

Olde World Italian dining in Warwick

The Dautaj (pronounced “Day-Taj”) in the heart of Warwick is a delicious step back in time.  Built as an estate in the mid-1800s, the Victorian mansion first became an inn and then a full-time restaurant by the mid-1960s. The Dautaj family took over in 2006 and they now offer a family Italian menu.

On a recent Friday night, my dining companion and I arrived before the hustle and bustle of dinner hour. It allowed us time to enjoy the quiet of the main room — its ambiance, the oil paintings, stained glass panels, and the menu. Our waiter Leo, who was sharply dressed in suspenders and red bow tie, gave us an informative rundown of the specials. It was clear that this was not an exercise in memorization, and he knew his recipes and answered our many questions. 

Appetizer: We split a Portobello mushroom dish that arrived with a slice of eggplant and melted mozzarella in a gorgonzola-cognac cream sauce. Both of us are Portobello fans and we enjoyed every bite, remarking at how we could discern the various flavors with not one overwhelming the other. While waiting for the main course, we munched on warmed Italian bread and fried zucchini slices in an oil dip.  

Entrée: Both entrées — the homemade lasagna with beef, and a veal scaloppini with shrimp, mushrooms and mashed potatoes — were plentiful. The lasagna could have fed three! Between each layer of pasta was a generous portion of sauce and ground beef blended with melted mozzarella — heavenly! The veal and shrimp were perfectly tender and tasty, and the variety of items on the plate, including the potatoes, broccoli and shredded carrots in a butter and lemon sauce, created a visually stunning dish.

Dessert: Right on cue, a well-stocked platter was brought over by a server. If we weren’t sure about having dessert, we were now. Among the cheesecakes, mousse, crème brulée, and seasonal pie, we opted for the classic cheesecake. Back to the kitchen it went for a bit of dress-up and it returned with dollops of whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle.  

All ages are welcome at The Dautaj, with a children’s menu that includes chicken fingers, cheeseburgers, and pasta dishes with complimentary vanilla ice cream.  

MJ Hanley-Goff is a freelance writer living in Monroe.

The Dautaj

36 Oakland Avenue, Warwick


perfect for date night: YES

perfect for the kids: YES

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