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Piccola Italia-Ocean NJ

Seriously people, if you haven't yet gone you are missing out big time! Met friends there last night for dinner and was once again pleased with everything we were given! The food is FANTASTIC and this really is the best restaurant in Monmouth County! To start they give you bruschetta and a plate of olives for the table. They also serve an amuse buche which last night was curried chicken over German potato salad. We ordered a few appetizers for the table-antipasto (in which the vegetables are grilled), fried oysters over a bean ragout (amazing and my favorite thing), and a frisee salad with duck confit atop. Everything was wonderful. They have a complementary wine list as well. For entrees, I ordered a risotto frutti di mare. It was served in a huge bowl overflowing with clams, mussels, fish, calamari and a large king crab leg over perfectly done risotto. My husband ordered a veal chop and the rest of the party ordered porcini dusted scallops, breast of duck with truffle risotto, and a combination plate featuring short ribs and NY strip steak. Everything was raved about. For dessert the table ordered the cheese plate and that was the only thing that not everyone was pleased with (we are cheese lovers and the plate was very basic). Service is tremendous as well, with new glasses brought out when we changed wines and new silverware given prior to the main dish.
They also have a bar area with full service for dinner that is very nice. Can't wait to go back already!
If you are looking for really great dining, you really need to check it out! BTW-it's off Rt35 in Ocean on W. Park Avenue in Cobblestone Village. YUM!

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  1. Densell - You wont be getting any argument from anybody on this board. :)

    1. I wish I knew who posted about this place last year. (If I did, I would give them a big smooch!!!) That was my first trip and WOW!!! I love it! As bgut1 said, no one on this board will say you are wrong! Unless ofcourse they like the 200 pizza/pasta places on Rt. 9...ha ha!!

      7 Replies
      1. re: Angelina

        Hey Angelina - Don't you remember it was ME!!!!! No only kidding. It was probably RGR, she get the credit for everything :)

        1. re: bgut1

          lol lol lol bgut, my friend, you're too much!! But it might very well have been me. We "discovered" it several years ago, sometime before they got their liquor license. The irony is, while you all are raving about it, we haven't been back since then. :-(

            1. re: bgut1

              I'm pretty sure this was the first post:

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/186463

              I was the one who posted last year and you already thanked me.

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/344043

              For the record I do give RGR credit for introducing me to:

              Devi
              Eleven Madison Park
              Thai Chili
              and my wife ;o) ok, maybe not my wife...

            2. re: RGR

              Smooches to RGR and bgut1...oops and Seal, too!

              Seal, too funny about your wife!!! ha ha..By the way, how was Italy, seal???

              RGR gets 5 stars from my husband on introducing us to La Grenouille!!

              1. re: Angelina

                Vn tyvm.

                You can read my Venice trip report here:

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/419219

                Shame about Cip's club, but other than that ;o)

                1. re: Angelina

                  And back at ya, Angelina! :-) But, Whoa!! I'm almost ashamed to admit that we've never been to Grenouille. :-( :-( So, are you sure that was moi?! (I keep telling my husband we'd better get there before it goes to the culinary graveyard along with just about all the other NYC Grandes Dames of French haute cuisine.)

          1. As a reminder, as of Thursday night there are 27 half-price certificates available on WJRZ FM dining deals webpage. $100 certificate for $50 plus S/H.

            http://www.greatermedianj.com/Default...

            5 Replies
            1. re: tom porc

              I've been meaning to get these certs for a while and I finally went for it. I can't wait to check this place out!

              Tom, any other restaurants on that site worth checking out?

              1. re: joonjoon

                I just got mine too! Pick up a Brandl - it'll bring down the pricing to normal. With BYO, it's actually worth it now.

                1. re: aacharya

                  Ugh .... don't mention the B word around here ... or at least me :)

                2. re: joonjoon

                  Since WJRZ is based in Manahawkin and much of their listening audience is in Ocean County, I'm afraid most of their restaurants are in OC and I'm not familar with them. Perhaps, others here can help us out.
                  I dont believe all of Monmouth County can even receive the station's signal.
                  I do know of Piccola, Tavolo and Moonstruck (which sold out in one day) and feel Piccola is the best. Tavolo's food was OK but thought the atmosphere was too dark and crowded (tables 6 inches apart) also had drawings of nude women on the walls. Similar style (and price) to Angelica's except it serves personal sized pizza, alcohol (large martini list), larger apps choices and perhaps a touch less quality.

                  I'll keep an eye on future listings. They post a new restaurant each week.

                  1. re: tom porc

                    If you go to www.greatermediadeals.com, it has the northern nj restaurants on there. They go on sale every monday morning.