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Dec 5, 2009 04:05 PM

Monticello : Red Bank

Went to Monticello as it was cold and rainy and we live right nearby. I believe it just opened up?

Anyway, overall, while not horrible, it was certainly nothing to write home about. The tuna capaccio (our mistake for ordering this at an Italian restaurant, but you know those cravings...) as an appetizer started things off extremely badly, with the typical over-sauced, less than stellar tuna with an avocado carelessly sliced on top

The entrees were not as disappointing, and while seemingly good ideas for flavor combinations, they felt short on execution. I had the Papardelle with Seared Duck, Shaved Parmesan Cheese and Chestnuts with (I think) a Cabernet sauce. Overall, this really was a successful dish, but poorly put together in the bowl. The chestnuts sat at the bottom in the cabernet sauce (I didn't realize they were in the dish until about halfway through), the duck on top, and all of the boring , yet tasty, papardelle in the middle. As such, the dish had no continuity and you really had to try and mix everything together to shed light on the attempted flavor combination. I should say, however, that upon doing so, the flavors did work nicely together, and it was certainly at least something a bit different.

My fiance had the Gnocchi with Goat Cheese Brandy Sauce, Peas, and Shrimp. The flavors were definitely interesting in this dish (she loves goat cheese and enjoyed the sauce more than I did) but again the dish fell short on execution with the most important ingredient: the gnocchi. It was too chewy and gummy and this made the dish difficult to enjoy.

In the Red Bank area, there are so many shortfalls when it comes to Italian food and I fear this may suffer the same fate. Still, an attempt at an innovative menu should be somewhat rewarded and we wish the owners the best of luck. The restaurant itself is quite beautiful, and if they can iron out some of the culinary kinks, they have the potential to improve and maybe warrant a second try soon.

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  1. Thank you for the excellent review. Here is a link to the restaurant's website.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bgut1

      No address. No phone number. No hours of operation.

      1. re: RGR

        The website will be updated by monday 12/06/2009
        we are sorry for the inconvenience.

        69 Broad St., Red Bank, NJ 07701

        Phone Number:
        (732) 450-0255

        mon - sat 11:00am to 10:00pm
        sun 11:00am to 9:00pm

        1. re: balvo

          R - While the web site needs some work, I commend them for at least having one up this early in their existence.

    2. This is the old Sogno space, right? From the sound of the above review, I gather the food is pretty good. It had better be considering the prices I saw on their menu, especially a series of $20 pasta plates. Will still give it a try, maybe a lunch to get a feel for things first.
      I saw no wine list, so I'm assuming it's a BYO establishment.

      1 Reply
      1. re: aklein

        Okay, not great, but with potential. Some dishes were better/worse than others. It is BYOB but like many other Red Bank establishments, it gives you the opportunity to order form nearby wine store for delivery.

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