La Spigola - Hamilton Rt 130
Considering the dearth of (good) upscale eateries in the area I'm surprised there's not more chatter on the board about this restaurant. While a bit on the expensive side, I've really never been disappointed by a meal there. I will say that I tend to stay away from the chicken and pasta dishes while focusing on the steak/fish/osso buco. My reasons are two-fold: 1) there are places nearby that do similar at least as well for cheaper (although almost all the chicken dishes there are under $20) and more importantly 2) the filet (especially) and NY strip are really out of this world. I can't tell you how many times I've been disappointed at a high end eatery by a mediocre cut of beef. Is $37 too much to pay for a tender tightly grained cut that's pushing 16oz and includes a veggie and starch side? Certainly not in my book.
Note the bread service (sliced&toasted peasant w/olive oil, roasted garlic and kalamata olives) is incredible as is the Tiramisu.
I also give it a +1 for service and decor. Some may call it a bit over the top but if it is, it's certainly not in the typical gaudy North Jersey style. Much more modern vs overdone marble and statues.
I am very interested to hear others take on this place!
US Highway 130 Klockner Rd N, Trenton, NJ 08610
I think their food is very good (at least it was when I was there years ago), but unlike you, when I eat Italian, I tend to gravitate towards the chicken and pasta dishes. As you noted, there's no dearth of excellent sources for those dishes in Hamilton/Mercer County at a much lower price point. I also gravitate towards more laid back places, being a jeans and t-shirt type myself:)
Sadly, we haven't been back there since Chef Dominic left, so I cannot comment on how the food is now.
One of the things that I wasn't a fan of was the Manhattan prices for cocktails. Other than that, the ambiance was nice, and it always drew a good crowd. Maybe we need to revisit... -mJ