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May 12, 2008 07:36 AM

Best Italian Food in Monmouth County

Can anyone suggest a good Italian restaurant in Monmouth County that is not too pretentious or expensive? I haven't yet found one I like.

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  1. Try Posillipos in Asbury Park. All pasta is made on the premisies and a nice selection of well prepared Italian dishes.

    1. Hey, lion 97,

      Welcome to Chowhound!

      It would be helpful to know which places you have already been to that you didn't like. Not that there are so many good ones to choose from. lol To the contrary, despite the fact that we are overrun with Italian restaurants, finding one that is first-rate is like looking for the proverbial needle....

      2 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        Thanks, RGR! I've been to the family-style restaurants (and hated them!), as well as Ponte Vecchio, Christie's, Buone Sera, Jimmy's, etc. I just haven't found one that is good-old, homemade, casual Italian. I'd appreciate any suggestions...

        1. re: lion97

          From those you've mentioned, the only one we've been to is Christie's, and I was not impressed.

          Our favorite Monmouth County Italian is SamVera, in Marlboro, which serves a traditional menu + specials. I've always found the food to be solidly prepared and very tasty. Service has always been efficient, and the dining room has attractive decor. Prices are on the higher end of moderate. Note that it's been quite a while since we were last there, so I hope my positive experiences with the food are still valid.

          Interesting to see Bossa_Nova's suggestion of Posillipo's. For me, a blast from the distant past. It's been literally decades since we were there. Back then, the food was excellent, so if they have been able to maintain that level, it's worth checking out. They offer live entertainment -- opera and show tunes -- on Wednesday evenings.

      2. In last Saturday's New Jersey section of the New York Times, La Dolce Vita (in Belmar) got a rating of "Good." See

        1. Still going to Brioso's every week. It's our favorite. Food is excellent! It's a BYOB so the bill is always reasonable.
          If you do go, their stuffed artichoke is a winner.

          5 Replies
              1. re: HillJ

                I've heard mixed reviews about Briosos.

                1. re: shesallthat

                  Me too. Last time my family & I were there tho we were really satisfied. Pink's recommendation is a solid one, re: stuffed artichokes.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Oh yes, I've heard some dreadful reviews of Brioso's right from this board. We all can't agree on everything.

          1. Am I the only one who finds it ironic that Monmouth county is literally swimming in red sauce but we can't agree on who is on top.

            Personally I like Sam Vera, Tuzzios, and Frankie Feds. I used to go to Posillipos often and always liked it so if they are still going strong, more power to them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: seal

              Not at all (ironic that is). If we all agreed food-life would be boring!

              One bad meal does not mean a bad restaurant. Depending on mood/local/$...dh & I would give a restaurant a fair number of chances before never returning. And, some restaurants "do" one dish really well but leave us flat overall..we'll still return for that one "to die for" dish.
              Happy eating!