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Jan 10, 2009 08:02 PM

Via Veneto, Brick, NJ

The tables were less occupied than usual at this familiar and normally bustling Italian restaurant on a Saturday evening. Nevertheless, our party of 6 enjoyed attentive service, and comforting, delicious meals. One of the appetizers, Broccoli Rabe and Sausage, was found to be a little overcooked (broccoli) by one, but I felt it to be just right. Isn't that the way with a few Italians at the same table? We all have our own way that seems to remind us of what mom used to make, and to each, his own. A couple of the entrees stood out: Veal Bracciola over Rigatoni and the Loin Lamb Chops with Broccoli Rabe (a theme here with us tonight apparently). Not only was the bracciola perfectly fork tender, but the gravy (sauce) on the rigatoni was perfectly complimentary--sweet but not too sweet. The lamb was cooked to the desired medium rare, and once again, the broccoli was delicious. A few desserts were ordered that stood out: Cannolli and Italian Cheesecake. Now, I'm a dessert chef--self-trained--but I've owned a dessert cafe'. I've gotten great reviews for my efforts, so I'm picky when it comes to dessert. I must say, that the cannolli shell was light and crisp tender; the filling was not even close to the typical thick and sweet one that we are typically used to receiving with this dessert. I found it to be very good. The Italian cheesecake had a rich flavor without being heavy, and also rated high with me. All in all, a good experience at Via Veneto.

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