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Cinque Figlie, Whippany - Just not sure

b
bropaul Oct 3, 2009 03:24 PM

I invited an old friend here to dine with me because of the restaurant's proximity to an opening we were attending. I had heard good things, but had never been. We were seated promptly - the restaurant was only about 1/3 full. It is charming inside (it's in an old house) and certainly comfortable. The menu was pretty standard NJ Northern Italian fare. We were brought two bruschetta that were nothing special and the bread tasted almost stale.The server did not tell us the specials until we had practically decided and I had to request the wine list, despite the fact that I said we would be drinking wine, when asked if we wanted a drink. To their credit, they were willing to let us split a pasta dish as our appetizer at no extra cost. We both wanted to try the pumpkin gnocchi with butter,sage and parmesan. They were delicious - soft, fluffy and flavorful. My friend had braised short ribs which were good, but nothing extraordinary. I had the salmon special which was grilled and served with cherry tomato and balsamic sauce. It was swimming in a brown sauce and I didn't much care for it, maybe I just chose poorly. Creme brulee and tiramisu were above average. A bottle of 2005 Pio Cesare babera was delightful. The entire meal cost me about $140. I'm just not sure I'd go back at that price.

  1. f
    fourunder Oct 3, 2009 07:39 PM

    Question.....how much of the $140 was for...

    Wine, Tax and Gratuity?

    6 Replies
    1. re: fourunder
      b
      bropaul Oct 4, 2009 06:00 AM

      The $140 was before tip and the wine was $42, I think. So with a 6% sales tax the food itself probably cost $85. That said, one pays for the entire dining experience, not just the food.

      1. re: bropaul
        f
        fourunder Oct 4, 2009 06:50 AM

        aid, one pays for the entire dining experience, not just the food.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        That's very true and I agree with you...but for someone who is considering the restaurant, and does not drink alcohol or order wine(not myself, bout others), may find $85 for appetizers, mains and desserts perfectly reasonable from a price point of view and decide to try for themselves.

        From your review, the only truly negative I have read is you did not like the cherry tomato balsamic sauce. Everything else for both of you was......delicious, good or above average. I think we can both agree ordering wine increases the bill substantially, correct, so to say this.......

        The entire meal cost me about $140. I'm just not sure I'd go back at that price.

        From where I sit, maybe that comment is not quite fair to the restaurant....any complaints on the wine?....

        :-))

        1. re: fourunder
          b
          bropaul Oct 4, 2009 01:14 PM

          OK. Maybe I have just become hyper-critical.

          1. re: bropaul
            Curlz Oct 4, 2009 06:06 PM

            You know what? Maybe you have--but that's okay, imo. It's your $140, and if you look back on the meal and the only thing you really seem to rave about is the bottle of wine, you're entitled to wonder about the overall value and whether or not it was really a good meal.
            I know that I suffer from the same issue these days, which is likely why I tend to return to some of the same restaurants again and again rather than try something new and walk out shrugging because it was "just okay."

            1. re: Curlz
              f
              fourunder Oct 4, 2009 07:17 PM

              I know that I suffer from the same issue these days, which is likely why I tend to return to some of the same restaurants again and again rather than try something new and walk out shrugging because it was "just okay."
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              If that's what you really think, then you wouldn't try your favorite restaurant (BLU) today, like you did when it first arrived on the scene. If you don't take that first chance, how will you ever truly know.

            2. re: bropaul
              f
              fourunder Oct 4, 2009 07:41 PM

              bropaul,

              for the record, I do not dispute your review of the restaurant , your opinions on quality or value of your experience.....nor am I trying to change your mind and persuade you on whether to return to the restaurant ,or not....you gave the restaurant a chance to impress and win you over, and that's all anyone can ask......my query/observations were only for clarifications......peace.

      2. tommy Oct 3, 2009 10:50 PM

        what is "northern italian fare"? not sure what kind of food they're serving.

        2 Replies
        1. re: tommy
          b
          bropaul Oct 4, 2009 05:57 AM

          At least here in NJ, that means anything that is not "red sauce" Italian.

          1. re: bropaul
            l
            love2cookmb Oct 9, 2009 11:47 AM

            My boyfriend took me here for my birthday this past July. I have been wanting to go there for a while because I heard it was really good. I was so disappointed. On a Friday night there was only one other table filled. I guess some may think it's nice to have the restaurant to themselves but for me it just seemed like the restaurant was undesireable. It had a very musty like basement smell there too. Turned me off the moment I walked in but I didn't want my boyfriend to feel bad. The waitress was sweet and did give us the wine menu right away and that was fine. The menu was very boring. I don't even remember what I ordered that's how average it was. I agree with the above comment about the bruschetta. I remember that, in fact, I don't even think they put any bread besides that on the table. There were only a few appetizers and nothing seemed like it was worth the price so i didn't order one. It was not a good dinner at all. I would have preferred to cook dinner myself and just gone out for drinks. Too bad.

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