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Apr 21, 2008 07:09 AM

Cerrato's in Bradley Beach, quick review

I've only seen a couple of brief mentions of Cerrato's on CH (one positive, one negative), so I thought I'd add my 2 cents, based upon our first visit there a few days ago (mid-week). Overall I really liked the food and will definitiely return. Highs and lows:

Lows: (1) Not announcing prices on the specials. The waiter did a great job describing all of the specials, but please give prices. Otherwise, why not just print your menus without prices? (2) Small plates - I mean literally small plates. What is with places that seem to think serving a large portion on a small, crowded plate will please the diner? I find it sort of disgusting. Get some bigger china; your portions are quite large, so no need for the visual trickery. (3) One waiter. For the entire place. That and one bus-person. The place wasn't crowded (when we got there), but by the end, he was running around like a crazy person. Please spend a few bucks on at least one more waiter. On a busy night, this would be a showstopper for me (there is nothing more annoying, to me, than having a too-small staff run around the place like banshies when I'm trying to relax).

Highs: (1) Very friendly staff (the one waiter and the owner...). (2) The food. We started with a stuffed Portobello appetizer (stuffed with spinach, crab, some cheese). Although it could have been served warmer, it was really outstanding and more than enough for two to share. For mains my wife had the Lobster Ravioli (served in a tomato-cream sauce). She loved it. It was pretty good, pasta cooked properly and with good flavor. My only complaint is that it was way over-sauced. I had a dish called Shrimp Vespucci. About 1/2 dozen very large shrimp over linguini with arugula and sun dried tomatoes in a white wine sauce. It was absolutely wonderful. I don't know if I have ever had shrimp in a restaurant cooked this perfectly. Not overcooked eved a tiny bit. So tender, moist and flavorful. The dish was bursting with flavor. For desert, I had a very, very nice single espresso. Sadly, my wife went for the Tiramisu, which I would advise passing on (I was informed that their signature chocolate desert was still semi-frozen??)

Overall, the lows are pretty minor and the food was great. We will go again and explore more of their dishes (the Osso Bucco was a temptation).

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  1. The place had a very recent write up in the Press. Open for 58 years I believe.

    I was there recently and thought mediocre. Food came to the table cold. Pasta was cooked al dente but didnt see it mentioned on the menu. I am not particularly fond of hard pasta.

    Although, we did have an attentive waiter and busboy and the place filled up. Prices are reasonable. It is a bit of a drive for us so I probably wouldnt return.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tom porc

      It's been open for less than a year. The space was previously occupied by Mazi for several years. We were there after it first opened, and I thought it was pretty good, but my wife was indifferent to it, and we haven't been back...

    2. Sorry but even your own review does not sound very positive. My wife and I went to this place one time and we were not impressed at all. Maybe with time they may turn out fine, but I have my doubts. Mazi the prior establishment was another also ran which never really go off the ground.

      1. I went there on a Sunday night and was surprised to find that almost every table was filled. It was nice. They had a singer, who had great volume control and sang songs that everone knew and liked. It was charming. The owner came over to the table to make sure that everything was ok.
        The menu is quite large. I got the Seafood scampi. It was just ok- a little too greasy. My boyfriend got a special that was essentially seafood fra diavalo. He liked it. But it was expensive, because we were surprised when the bill came. I agree with the previous poster- if you have specials that are significantly more (10% more) than your typical entree, the waiter should say the price when telling you the specials.

        Overall, I would go back. I thought the atmosphere was traditional, old-school Italian. It's the kind of place to take your parents. I would like to give the food one more try.