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May 10, 2012 11:33 AM

Cucina di Napoli Newark De

For years I was a real fan of this place for red gravy Italian food however I am loosing my enthusiasm. The food hasn't gotten bad but it has lost its yumminess - it seems like the food used to be made with love and now it isn't. Also the proportions have changed - there is now more pasta and less of everything else on the plate. Last night I got take out and I asked for extra cheese to be grated on my pasta - didn't happen. We also ordered a side of sausage which turned out to be a three to four inch sausage cut into four pieces. A side of meatballs was two meatballs. This seemed to be stingy since each side was $5 - this is a neighborhood place. All told we got an order of eggplant parm, an order of penne with broccoli and spinach, and the two sides mentioned and the bill was $40. This is not a huge amount of money but it doesn't seem like good value anymore.

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  1. That's been my experience too.

    1. This is one of my usual lunch spots because I work at the University. I think the biggest problem with this place is turnover -- the servers and kitchen staff seem to all be students, which means that you could order the same thing once a week for a month and get several different styles of presentation.

      The ridiculous upcharging has always bothered me, too. Obnoxious that they charge extra to 'chop' your salad. Also, try swapping a sauce on one of their pasta specials and watch what happens to your bill. You can have tortellini with blush sauce, or gnocchi with red and a meatball for the same price, but gnocchi with blush and no meat will cost you an additional chunk of change. Please. If I'm asking for more food I'm happy to pay more. But that's just irritating.

      Still, it's much more down-to-earth and reasonable than Caffe Gelato.

      3 Replies
      1. re: spyturtle008

        I agree about Caffe Gelato - I find it pretentious and over priced. There are to many alternatives in the area to bother with it - except for the gelato!

        1. re: Fiona

          Second the opinion about Caffe Gelato. We had a special occasion brunch there a week ago and the experience bordered on dreadful. The service in our private room was lackluster and inattentive. When we finally ordered, there was probably a ten-minute gap between the arrival of the first and last entrees. When the food did arrive, it did not rise above mediocre. In the end, we had to chase down our server elsewhere in the restaurant to get a check. In other words, there was nothing about the experience that would make us want to go back. Ever.

          1. re: Fiona

            We eat elsewhere on Main St. then walk to Caffe Gelato for dessert . . . :)