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Jun 9, 2010 07:21 AM

Looking for Good Basic Italian nothing too gourmet, Monmouth area.

Looking for old school Italian but something good and fresh not a place with a 5 page menu. Been craving white clam sauce, please help!

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    1. re: coldbeer

      I like Anna's, but I haven't been in a while because the menu never changed. Maybe it's time to give it another shot (it's BYOB, btw)

      1. re: Mr. Bingley

        Funny how different dining experiences can be. I was there recently. The food was dreadful.

        1. re: Tay

          well, like i said i haven't been there in a few years. sorry to hear that.

    2. La Dolce Vita on Ocean Ave. in Belmar should suit you.

      La Dolce Vita
      400 Ocean Avenue, Belmar, NJ 07719

      3 Replies
      1. re: SusieQQ

        Johnny Piancone's in Long Branch. Many people are fond of Tuzzios, also in Long Branch, I went there my entire childhood so I am partial to it for a chicken parm/baked ziti craving. Definitely old school, red sauce, covered in cheese kind of fare. Don't miss out on the house dressing there! But my hubby is not a Tuzzios fan. We both really like some of Ninette's food, in Tinton Falls (Shrewsbury) by the A&P. Rigoletto in Middletown is very very good. They offer whole wheat pasta, which is a plus in my book!

        Hope that helps!

        1. re: SusieQQ

          La Dolce Vita in BELMAR on ocean ave. Has good food, but the service is very poor. I have been there 4 times this summer and each time they are short of servers and very backed up. the servers are also inexperienced and some are "borrowed" from the other location and do not seem to know what they are doing. had to wait 45 min for a table for 2, waited 15 minutes to get menus after we were seated and after 15 min got up and got them myself. never offered a bread basket refill or grated cheese for the pasta, had to flag down the food runner and tell them he had our food that he was carrying around trying to find out where it goes. Too bad, cause the food is good, once they fix the service problems it will be great again. last year the younger guy was there and kept things in order, this year there is an older man at the door who seems very confused.

          1. re: FrankieT945

            La Dolce Vita is a MUCH better bet in the offseason. Summer help, crowds, etc., seem to overwhelm the place, but we've gone in the fall/winter and had excellent service, great food (last year was BYO in the offseason) and some fixed-price menus that were solid. Us locals tend to stay away from the tourist stops during the summer. Shipwreck in Brielle is the same, infinitely better after summer is over.

            La Dolce Vita
            400 Ocean Avenue, Belmar, NJ 07719

        2. My favorites in the Long Branch area are:

          Attilios (in the Shop Rite plaza on 36). Great non-red sauce specials, a whole lot of food for reasonable money, and awesome bread. I've heard they're having issues with their kitchen staff and I haven't been in a few months though - I hope whoever's doing the cooking is still doing the job though.

          La Scarpetta (Locust Ave): Awesome Penne Vodka! Everything else here is really good too, imo.

          6 Replies
          1. re: joonjoon

            I don't even know if it's still in existence as I moved to Ocean County years ago, but my go to place for white clam sauce was always Tuzzio's in Long Branch - absolutely the best around!

            1. re: newfie29

              Tuzzio's is still there and it's my favorite, too, five-page menu notwithstanding. Among my current enthusiams there are the sliced rib-eye on garlic bread, chicken parm and chicken piccata. We tried it once on a whim and found their sole francaise to be especially appealing.

              I agree with joonjoon that Attilio's in the Shop Rite plaza is really pretty good (NOT to be confused with Attilio's in Ursula Plaza, which is really pretty lousy). A similar kind of place, Ruffino's in the Office Max Plaza in Eatontown, capable, pleasant and no frills.

              Ruffino's Restaurant
              # 36, Eatontown, NJ 07724

            2. re: joonjoon

              Oh I like that Attilios, too! For food, not so much for pizza. It sold last month, and I haven't been since the new owner took over. He used to own another local Italian place but I can't remember which one.

              1. re: MichelleM131

                From what I understand the current owner bought Attilios about 6 months ago. He used to own (or maybe still does) Danny's in Little Silver.

                And yes, the Attilios in Ursula Plaza is nowhere near as good as the ShopRite Attilio.

                The other great thing about Attilios is that they will literally make you anything you want.. you can get creative and make up your own stuff :)

                1. re: joonjoon

                  Alas, Danny's Pizza & Subs in Little Silver is no more (Whimper, no more #4...)

                  Danny's Pizza & Subs
                  24 Ayers Ln, Little Silver, NJ 07739

                2. re: MichelleM131

                  There's always Jimmy's in Asbury Park (Asbury Ave) for the basic 'southern Italian' fare as well as Carmine's (in town) which is a bit better (imo).

                  I also really like Illiano's in Ocean (W Park Ave) for great veal dishes (they're a weekly order for take out). Tuzzio's in LB (already mentioned) is also good old homestyle. I mean it's really hard not to stumble onto basic and good homestyle Italian in the Red Bank to Asbury Park corridor.

                1. re: aklein

                  Vic's in Bradley beach.........really ?? Last time I was there was about 2 years ago and it was awful. Pizza was not even any good. For pizza it's Carmen's at pete and elda's or Brick oven in bradley beach. For food, Jimmy's, la Dolce vita in belmar or possibly stella marina which has a very limited menu .

                  Bradley Beach, Bradley Beach, NJ

                  1. re: stickman731

                    Second Rigoletto's, we have eaten hear a dozen times and never a bad meal always a very nice dining experience. You are best to make a reservation here in advance.

                    But, if you are craving white clam sauce I highly recommend Dish in Red Bank.
                    Although not an Italian restaurant per se their white clam sauce is one of the best I've ever eaten.

                    1. re: JerzeyShore

                      Friends of mine own Rigoletto's....solid choice for sure!