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Undici~Rumson last night.

Well, I could'nt wait to read someone else's review, so my husband and I went for dinner last night. First off, the place is BEAUTIFUL!! They really did a great job. The bar looks like granite, but it is marble and looks so nice. You do feel as if you are in someone's home rather than a restaurant, and we really liked that. They even tiled the ceilings in the ladies' room!! Also, when you walk in form the back, there is a seating area by a huge fireplace. Nice.

Now the food. The menu is very much the same as Basil T's in Red Bank (same owner as many of you know already.) We started with a meat plate. Salami, Mortadella, Procuitto, and two little pieces of cheese :( It had olives on the platter, but they were the huge green ones, and they had no real good taste to my husband or I. Also, roasted almonds. Could do without that, as it just look to "fill" the plate. Only 2 small pieces of cheese. One was a very good buffalo mozzarella and the other was parm. cheese. I don't know why is was so small, but oh well. That plate was pricey I thought. $ 19.00 for the small one we ordered and $ 28.00 if you order a large.

The bread they give you was 1/2 and 1/2. I did'nt hate it, but I was not crazy about it. It was served with oil and a side of riccotta cheese? The cheese was good, but I never had it served like that before.

Our dinners. Also, I think mu husband's was over priced. He had a 16 oz. steak served with a spaghetti in a tomato sauce, and some veggies. His was $ 46.00. We brought half home, but it was very good. I wish I ordered a pasta dish. They had a nice pasta dish in a bolognese which sounded great, since all the pastas are homemade there. I ordered Shrimp Spedini. I think it was $ 24 or $ 26. It was huge jumbo shrimp grilled on a skewer. (I make this all the time at home, why I ordered it out...I don't know.) The shrimp were vey good, U10's they were and they had a great flavor to them. Not dry, very meaty and juicy. Mine also had a side of spaghetti in a tomato sauce. That was very good. The sauce was so fresh and the pasta just melted in your mouth!

We ordered wines by the glass. They were $ 10 a glass, and they were great wines! We chose a cabernet from Sicily...very good. No room for dessert, so we were done. The place was packed! I definately would go back. The wait staff is still new to everything, so I would be patient with them. We both had a very nice dinner, and like I said, I will go back!

They said there menu changes daily, so there is no place to really look at the menu, but I would suggest giving it a try.

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  1. Thanks for the info. I will go in the next couple of weeks.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it :)

      But, those prices .... out of my budget :(

      1. We live in the area and are partial to Anjelica's in Sea Bright, and for a little downscale, Trattoria G's, also in SB. But we figured we would try Undici last night. They don't take reservations, so we were told to come b4 6PM. We had to wait 40 min anyway. The pasta e fagioli I had was very good and promising a good meal to come. My wife also had the shrimp; the pasta side was the size of a tablespoon and was very salty. We complained to the waiter and he came back to tell us that we can have more for 4.95 extra. We declined, and then he returned and said no problem, they will bring extra. Still salty. I had the Margherita pizza (a personal pie for $17.00??) and it was like cardboard and had no taste. The capuccino was very good. For our money, Anjelica's is the way to go. For margherita pizza, I'll stick w/ either Sea Bright Pizza, or Trattoria G's.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tralfamadore

          Naples in Belford has really really good Marherita pizza. Too good in fact!

        2. Exactly what I was afraid of. OK food sold at exorbitant prices. The decor is like throwing pixie dust in the air - a distraction from the fact that it's just not worth it.

          BTW I became steadily disenchanted with Basil T's in Red Bank over a 3 year period. Each time we went the food seemed to become a little more lackluster and the prices seemed to creep ever upward.

          These people clearly have a formula and unfortunately it's working.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bob Martinez

            I thought it was just me - Basil T's - prices climbing over the past several years, variety declining, food is average. I can get their level of food at (gasp!) Macaroni Grille for ½ the price.

          2. I recently visited Undici and wrote about my experience in detail on my wine blog whose URL name is the same as my name. I thought the atmosphere was very nice and cozy even though a bit dark. The service was friendly and the food was tasty but not exceptional.

            I've never heard so many people comment that the restaurant was expensive so that is why I had to experience it myself. Without tip came to $182.98 and we did not have any dessert or alcohol.

            I brought my 10 year old son and his friend to Undici. Our order was:

            1 Shared Margarita Pizza
            1 Pasta Dish
            1 Strip Steak
            1 Seafood Soup (like a Fruiti De Mare with shrimps, clams, scallops, fish, etc.)
            1 Side of Escarole
            2 Sodas and 1 Ice tea
            1 Chicken Entree, packed "to go" for my wife.

            With tip the final bill was just under $220. At these prices, I don't think that many will make this a regular destination for eating out.

            Brian Pasch

            4 Replies
            1. re: brianpasch

              I agree with you 100%. We only went two times. The first was as I posted above, but the last time was last weekend. My husband had the same steak and it was so bad. Grizzle, fat, overcooked (ordered it med. rare and came out so well!!) For $ 48.00, that was just crazy! My linguine with clams was just off. Pasta was cold, a small bowl and I paid $ 26. The pizza is the biggest rip off ever..$ 18.00 for a small sized margarita pie...unbelieveable!!

              The place was so empty for a Sat. night. I do not think they will last too long at those prices! My husband wished we went to Fromogerie for a much better steak and for only $ 36, not $ 48!!!

              My neighbor said she tried it too and was telling me how expensive she thought it was. So I guess everyone is on to this place about being overpriced. Oh well, hopefully the next person who takes it over will make it much better.

              1. re: Angelina

                yOU MUST MAKE A RESERVATION ON A sATURDAY NIGHT BECAUSE THE FOOD IS SO GOOD THE PLACE IN ALWAYS BUSY.

              2. re: brianpasch

                I wanted to update my post from 2007 since I have visted Undici a number of times recently and I have really come to appreciate the food. The good news is that their prices have come down in line with what you pay for top quality food. I would no longer call it over-priced.

                Undici has also settled into a good flow and the service was very smooth. I had lunch one nice day outside on their rustic tables and it was great. Undici has been jammed the last few times I was there so hats off to Undici for adjusting their prices and keeping the quality high.

                1. re: brianpasch

                  Thanks for your update, brianpasch. Regulars here know that I'm sick to death of the overabundance of Italian eateries, most of which are barely mediocre. I've never had any intention of trying Undici. However, we're always on the lookout for places where we can dine al fresco during nice weather. So given what you have reported here, I may consider giving Undici a try.

              3. Angelina - sorry but this is for the elite of Rumson and Fairhaven. The food here is just as it is at Basil's, average and way over priced. The wine is overpriced as well at $10 a glass. This is not a CHOWHOUND opportunity but a cutting edge excuse to through money away. I would rather eat two meals for the same price at What's Your Beef right next door. Please don't be enamored by the fancy brick work and blinded to the marketing hype. This restraunt will not cut it in the long run as there is simply no value here...other than visual.

                4 Replies
                1. re: bjsimmons

                  You are so right bjsimmons! My second post on this board, after going to the place again was horrible. CLEARLY overpriced for average food..if that. I will never go back. The wine is overpriced as well. Like I said before, hopefully the next person who takes it over will make it something great.

                  Like you, I would rather go down to Barnicle Bill's and have cheeseburgers over paying up to $ 30 for a pasta dish I can make at home!

                  1. re: Angelina

                    Went to Undici on a whim and it was a big mistake. The calamari appetizer was decent - not rubbery but not remarkable. The "pasta" entrees were another story. I ordered the gnocchi and received a plate of slices of polenta. I asked if I'd received the wrong thing and was told that they "do it differently there". We were stunned that they are passing off polenta grilled in butter as house made gnocchi for $23. My husband had their salty version of penne puttanesca (also $23) with very overcooked penne. They did go out of their way to find us a table on a Saturday night so we didn't make a fuss though. I believe that bjsimmons might be overestimating the Rumson/Fair Haven crowds' collective palate - look at all of the other quite mediocre restaurants in the area that have endured - the Salt Creek Grill, What's Your Beef, Nauvoo and McLoones to name a few. In my opinion the space is almost cozy rustic Tuscan farmhouse but somehow also a little bit cheesy. The spelling errors on the menu reinforced that for me "saute' ' " and "ciambatta" ( but I'm a stickler for that sort of thing). Don't waste your money - go to Tavolo in Long Branch for much better pasta dishes at much lower prices. We have a dearth of quality Italian restaurants here in this area.

                    1. re: jsullman

                      Isn't Tavolo / Basil T's / Undici related in some way?

                      1. re: xny556cip

                        I'm not positive, xny556cip, but I believe that Tavolo is owned by (extended?) family members of the owners of Basil T's and now Undici. BTW I forgot to mention the Bay Avenue Trattoria in Highlands - the food is consistently 95% better than almost anywhere else in the area and their Italian dishes and pastas are wonderful. I was remiss. The space is not fancy and is tiny and BYO, but I highly recommend it anyway - it is run by the former owners of Joe and Maggie's (formerly of Long Branch).

                2. Went to Barnacle Bill's last night and on the way home passed Undici's and the parking lot was practically empty. bad news travel fast.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Eric in NJ

                    The first weekend after New Year's Eve is usually one of the slowest of the year in restaurants, so it might be just a bit too early to slap a Deathwatch on Undici.

                    1. re: RGR

                      Good point RGR ... I also like the Eater reference thrown in there.

                      1. re: RGR

                        Well as we left Barney's there was a line waiting to get in there, and the parking lot for Salt Creek was jammed.

                        1. re: Eric in NJ

                          Hmmm... Eric, That does seem to disprove my point. However, another possibility is that those people who did want to go out chose less expensive places because budgets had just taken a hit from holiday purchases and New Year's celebrating. I haven't been to Undici and have no intention of patronizing the place. But I still think we need more evidence of a consistenty empty parking lot, especially on several Saturday evenings, to prove that the place is going under.

                          1. re: RGR

                            Oh I don't know that it's going under. I just thought it strange for it tto be so empty. But lets face it everyone in the area doesn't read this form so word of mouth can spread news too. I likewise have no intention of going as what I've read here has made me leery. I don't mind spending money on a good meal but spending it on run of the mill food is not my way. Now I must say we were out on the cheap ourselves I had a burger & my wife a salad.

                            1. re: Eric in NJ

                              For me, even cheap food has to be really good; otherwise, I'd rather stay home and cook. lol

                              1. re: RGR

                                RGR:
                                As we both know price is not the barometer of a outstanding meal ..Ate @ the Cassville Tavern a ''hole in the wall'' in Jackson . Had Prime Rib dinner $14.95 cooked to perfection and superior quality rib.. came with bread veg,potatoe and salad .How can you beat that ..

                                1. re: big1515

                                  You can't beat that. I have heard so many things about the place I plan to go this Friday night.

                                  1. re: big1515

                                    Does Cassville have a website? I did not google it or anything. It sounds like The Clarksburg Inn. I like that place!

                                    1. re: Angelina

                                      I could not find one. Sounds like not such a modern place to care about one. Probably does a good business on word of mouth.

                      2. I have nothing to add about Undici's, but on a side note I know all about riccota served on Italian bread. My mother served it to me "as a second dish" every Friday night.

                        1. So many pro's and con's about Undici.
                          The one constant seems to be the price and it should be. As I am not the one making the business decisions I wont go there except as a consumer, its damned pricey.
                          My first and only experience was a recent lunch with someone I had just met and she had recommended Undici, correctly telling me it was "upscale" before we agreed to meet there.
                          I found the waitstaff knowledgeable and very pleasant and helpful. A remote table perfect for a couples talk. The food, we both had pasta dishes, was unusually well prepared and seasoned. We were both exclaiming about the taste as we ate. The wine, a chianti and a pinot, were excellent. We each had two.
                          Coffee and desert added a perfect ending to a lovely and delicious lunch.
                          I wont adopt Undici as my daily lunch hangout but it is on my short list of "occasion" spots for something special with someone special.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: J.Rex

                            J.Rex, very well put. I would have to agree with your assessment. I have had two similiar experiences, both for lunch. I think it is pricey and given the beautiful decor and food quality I think it is a perfect special-occasion place.

                          2. 3 of us visited the new place recently. Basically, its Hook Line with a new face. Still too noisy. We couldnt hear each other across the table by 7:30PM. Its the same environment at Ashes, nothing to soak up all the niose. The wines were good and priced ok. The food prices were off the wall. $84.00 for 2 veal shank plates for 2 people? I dont think so. Served with room temperature salty risotto. $11.00 for a side order of Rabe? PLEASE !!! Broiled chicken - $26.00? $15.00 for a mixed greens salad?3 people, 4 drinks, no desert = 204.00? Never again !!! I asked for coffee. The first one was ice cold, the second was luke warm. Their coffee beans are too burnt. Very harsh flavor. McDonalds coffee has better flavor. I'd rather have Hook Line back. Good food, good prices, less noise.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: robert1456

                              I know it is going to break many hearts in CH land, but Undici has closed for lunch, and is now closed on Mondays. It seems there is limited need for an expensive restaurant nestled between Salt Creek Grille, Barnacle Bills and Whats Your Beef.
                              ....Ok, let 'em rip...

                            2. Well, i wish i knew about this site before i went to Undici in Rumson Nj last night . Ambiance nice, staff friendly...but food average to below average and prices--WAY OVERPRICED! II agree with most of the reviews I read here... the pizza was insultingly small, no taste, the bread.looked better than it tasted... the pasta bolognese was ok..nice and firm..but my daughter's gnocchi was mush...
                              too much attention to everything else but the food....
                              For a good , fairly priced Italian...go to Sam Vera on rte 520 in Marlboro...excellent service, delicious food, fairly priced. The atmosphere is nice too.

                              1. Undici is doing half price bottles of wine on Wednesdays so my friends and I checked it out.

                                I did notice that everything was priced a little extravagantly but I didn't mind since the wines were half off...

                                We ordered only two apps to share, but they were both really tasty - the first one was the meat/cheese plate, and the second was their clams.

                                It's a little expensive, but I thought the clams were phenomenal. The meat plate was good too - but anyone can put out a good meat plate. :)

                                As for the rest of their menu - I'm not paying twenty-something dollars for a plate of pasta, sorry.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: joonjoon

                                  I have no interest in going to Undici. But with regard to paying $20-something for a plate of pasta, I think it depends on what kind of pasta dish is involved. Here are three pasta dishes we've had that are so incredible, they are totally worth that price point:

                                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                  1. re: RGR

                                    I agree with my good friend RGR that paying over $20 for a plate of pasta is warranted in certain situations. However, let's not forget that there is probably a big difference between Chefs Conant and White's dishes and those served at Undici.

                                    1. re: bgut1

                                      Without trying Undici's pastas, of course, we cannot say for certain, but while I'm not willing to bet my house on it, I suspect it would be difficult for Undici's to equal those in the photos.

                                      1. re: RGR

                                        Pasta is made with flour and water, generally made by one of the prep cooks. Sometimes they toss in an egg. Until they start adding shredded truffles or gold I can't justify forking out $20 for a serving.

                                        1. re: equal_Mark

                                          Irrespective of who is actually cooking the pastas, there was a much more inovlved in the pastas we had than flour and water and an egg. The were very far from ordinary. And for shaved truffles, you'll pay a heckuva lot more than $20 a serving.

                                          1. re: RGR

                                            RGR,

                                            How do you make the links hot? I don't see a taskbar to work from.

                                            Thanks,

                                            Kdoh

                                            1. re: Kdoh

                                              Kdoh,

                                              That's because there is taskbar. To link from flikr (or any other source), copy the url from the page and paste it into your post here.