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Apr 27, 2008 08:16 AM

Gaetano's in Red Bank, NJ

Last night after several years of walking by this place we finally made it to Gaetano's and we are happy to report that we had a very nice dinner. Although the reviews have been mixed on this restaurant we would recommend it to others. The only negative was it is now a large space devided into two rooms with ceramic tile floors and other hard surfaces which tend to elevate the noise level.

We shared the calamari calabrese appetizer, which was plenty for two people and it was excellent in quality and taste. For the main course my wife had gnocchi and I had the lobster ravioli - both delicious. Although I brougtht my own wine, I decided to order one of their local NJ selections from Westfal Winery. A sangeovese that was not bad but a little on the sweet side for my taste. At $23. it was a fair price.

Our food server Melanie was attentive and efficient. At a cost of $84. including the wine, before tax and tip, we will definitely return.

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  1. Thanks for the review, Ive also been wanting to try out Gaetano's but never get around to it. Its becoming harder and harder to find good gnocchi, so Im eager to try.


    7 Replies
    1. re: yankeefan

      Their pasta, including the gnocchi is their strong point - really excellent and prepared properly. You can now even buy it to go along with their own brand of EVO. Their bread is really good as well and served with their own brand of oil for dipping. I should have mentioned to forget the desserts however. Let us know what you think if you do go there...thanks.

      1. re: JerzeyShore

        For the adventurer, Gaetano's octopus salad is delightful!

        1. re: HillJ

          Sounds interesting, we will have to try it on our next visit. Thanks...

          1. re: JerzeyShore

            I hate to differ, but I have been regularly disappointed by Gaetano's over the last few years. At least once a summer, we become bored by the other BYOBs in Red Bank and are enticed by Gaetano's open doors and pleasant room. Unfortunately, the pasta dishes suffer from overwrought design and much of the rest of the menu is uninspired. A simpler, more classic approach wold serve them better. The food is not bad, something just doesn't click. I'm sure I will give it another try as the weather improves. i'll report back then.

            1. re: BernieMSY

              BernieMSY, my recommendation isn't a broad vote across the Gaetano's menu. I too have been disappointed, but not by the octopus salad.

        2. re: JerzeyShore

          Im looking forward to trying out the gnocchi.

          I took at look at the menu online but couldnt find any information on the octopus salad- is this only seasonal?

          1. re: yankeefan

            Could be yankeefan. Often online menus are just a guidepost anyway.
            I've enjoyed the octopus salad several times but it could have been when work brings me to R/B; april to aug.

      2. Wanted to send along the info now that I have finally gotten a chance to eat there. Truly nothing but impressed even though I had high expectations.

        some takeaways:

        1. having the specials on display was great, kept me from having to peek at other people's tables to see what dishes looked like and pretending to have to slowly walk to the bathroom as I stared down others dishes (guilty as charged)

        2. the bread from the hearth oven was superb with their olive oil and the balsamic I had asked for. great start to an italian meal.

        3. fried calamari was the only disappointment, and that was a mild one. the octopus app more than made up for it- cooked to absolute perfection, and that is not easy to do with octopus. so tender.

        4. gnocchi was tremendous, friend ordered the seafood fra diavlo and I did have some of the sauce with the bread and nicely made- not overly sweet like most. my wife got the lobster ravioli- again, good job on a dish that is often screwed up.

        5. my halibut was a bit too oily but still good nonetheless. I will stick with the gnocchi focused dishes next time.

        6. service was very good even though it was slow they acknowledged and I always appreciate that. no sweat though as it was a byob and we were more than aptly prepared.

        thank you to those who had suggested- havent had much success with red bank food, and often am against italian restaurants because Im picky but this one is really a winner.

        look forward to getting back there soon.


        1 Reply
        1. re: yankeefan

          thank you for the review. this place is on my short list to visit. i've signed up for the newsletters and they seem to have great specials.

        2. I went there this week, and need to use a giftcard because I really do think they have great food.

          They took the octopus off the specials this time and the service was horrific, hope this is not a trend. The waitresses were very childish and miserable and were more interested in openly gossiping amongst themselves and talking far too loud of personal chatter. Treated guests like garbage.

          And the manager/owner that is often there really needs to learn to treat people more respectfully. He seemed not only to be rude to his workers but was pretty put off by the paying customers. I really hope this isnt a permanent thing- really brings the place down several notches.

          4 Replies
          1. re: yankeefan

            I'm going there tonight for the first time. Guess I'll be having the octopus salad. Seems to be the favorite. Thanks.

            1. re: Pink Pepper

              Have not been ther since April, please let us know what you think.

              1. re: JerzeyShore

                They didn't have the octupus salad. I had the fig salad. No finesse, kind of sloppy looking and not very tasty. Had their whole wheat cappellini pasta with tuna and peppers. Like a big clump, had to separate it myself. Also, not very good. Strange combo of flavors.
                No recommendations from me.

                1. re: Pink Pepper

                  Sorry to hear you experience was lacking Pink. I had lunch at Gaetano's a few weeks ago and left half the salad behind. Hate paying for food I don't enjoy! They are official off my radar.

          2. Stopped here on our way home from the beach. Nice, casual atmosphere , good service.
            Bread and olive oil was great. Ordered fried calamari and eggplant rollatine.
            Rollatine was deep fried and ordinary. Stuffing was not that good. We sent back the calamari because it was not good. Maybe the frying oil was not hot enough to get it crispy enough, it was limp and didn't taste good.
            Shared an order of linguini white clam sauce. The pasta was delich and home made, whole, fresh clams in the shell, perfectly cooked, buttery sauce with parsley. Pretty yummy with that bread. Note, they shared out pasta for us and then we got the bill and it was 27 bucks for the dish. I questioned this and the waitress said 'oh its on the menu, share charge' who could see it? Who looks ? She couldn't even find it to show us.
            What nerve. We payed and left feeling ripped off. 27 bucks for a meager bowl of pasta and white clam sauce. Won't return, nothing else was that good and i didn't like the menu, if you don't like sun dried tomatoes and don't eat meat, theres not a lot of choices.