Osteria Dante is no more?
Was driving through Red Bank the other day and saw that Osteria Dante has closed and that a new restaurant was arriving (Tarana or something like that?) Anyone have any more information?
An aside: tried The Soup Man on Broad Street that day and will never do that again... a CUP of Italian Wedding Soup, a beat-up apple, a day-old piece of whole grain bread and an after-dinner chip of dark chocolate... over $7.00! The soup had more cornstarch that Chicken Chop Suey and should have been toasted for croutons instead. Yuck. Imagine how much Italian Wedding Soup one could make at home for $7 bucks.
Thought Torcello was fine, nice waitress and owner came over to say hello....the food portions were small, but fresh and nicely prepared. My big complaint, however is that they discontinued their prix fixe pre theater menu and it's STILL ON THE WEBSITE...to me this is a bait and switch ploy that is not appreciated. It is a BYOB spot, try it for lunch and you will likely be pleasantly surprised by the food offerings and the ambiance.
I am in agreement that the other Italian restaurants in Red Bank are not of a high quality. I have had a couple of okay to good meals at Gaetanos. But everyone agreed within my party who are all New Yorkers, this was a completely mediocre meal and nothing tasted fresh about it. But I do believe the service is probably very good when not in the weeds.
Last night 5 of my friends from New York were in town visiting my husband and I, and we were going to cook, but then last minute we decided last minute to go out to eat. Unfortunately the only place that could seat us at the specific time we wanted was TORCELLO. BIG MISTAKE.
Monmouth County is the land of mediocre Italian restaurants, but calling this restaurant mediocre is being a little too nice.
Two of us ordered appetizers to share, one grilled calamari with beans while the other was eggplant tomato and mozzarella. I thought the grilled calamari was good and had hopes the other was good, but then realized that the other dish looked half eaten. My friends just said it had no flavor and was gross.
For entrees, I ordered the butternut squash Gorgonzola risotto. The risotto was okay but really had no flavor of the two components. Other pasta entrees included spinach ricotta tortellini, pesto gnocchi, and a frutti di mar. The gnocchi were gummy and the pesto did not have a strong flavor, and the other two dishes were blah, not a lot of flavor and definitely did not deserve the high price tag.
The two pizzas were okay but were small. For brick oven pizzas they should have been a little larger (and again overpriced).
Probably the worst part of the entrees was my husband's tilapia with figs and rice. It was one the most measly pieces of tilapia I have seen served in a restaurant. He said the fish tasted nice but was a little dry and the wild rice just made the dish bland. I am not one of those people who demand big portions, I actually prefer to have a really nicely made smaller dish. But this meal left us completely unsatisfied.
I was the only one to have dessert, and I ordered the panna cotta. It was disgusting. It was just gelatin with a couple of berries in it. No flavor, just gross. Probably the worst dessert I have ever had out.
Service started good with the host pouring us our wine that we brought in and checking in. But service suffered once all the table were filled, and then everything went into the weeds. I knew they were in the weeds when I saw the owner push a panic chef (who was making the pizza at the time) back into the kitchen and started making the pizzas himself (I hope he washed his hands).
Overall, I felt bad that my friends who live in the city and have great dining options had to be subjected to this overpriced bad meal. I just recently was in Brooklyn visiting another friend were we went to one of our favorite restaurants Italian Fiore where nothing is more than $17 dollars and the meal is great. Just shows how New Jersey thinks they need to charge more, and tricking people to think they are going to get a great meal. TORCELLO claims to be an authentic Italian restaurant and to me, there is nothing authentic about it.
according to today's (2/18/09) NY Times, a restaurant called TORCELLO has opened in its place. Owner is Mike Bitici, who used to own a place in the Village called Grand Ticino (30 yrs of experience overall, according to the website)
91 Broad Street, Red Bank (732) 530-0602...
website is: http://www.torcellorestaurant.com/def...
curious to see how they're doing, but I'm not going to be the first one...