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Osteria Cucina Rustica ~ Marlboro

Has anyone been? From the article it seems open, but last time I was in that area, it was not.



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  1. According to their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/OsteriaCucin...

    ... They're open. Had a few soft openings, now serving Happy Hour.

    My reaction: SERIOUSLY? Yet ANOTHER Italian restaurant?

    Seems like this one might actually be good, though... what with a chef's table and all. Plus, anyone that turns a bank into a restaurant.. well, that's kinda cool in itself.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MarlboroMan

      It's definately open. I go to workout world in that shopping center. They put a ton of money into renovating that space. I plan to go in a few weeks to give them time to work out the kinks. I hope it's going to be good. We really need a decent Italian restaurant in Marlboro.

    2. Just came back. Gorgeous place!! They were turning people away without a reservation....still in soft opening mode I guess as the place was half empty. From my perspective, here's a list of The Good and the Bad:

      The Bad:

      1- This place has horrible acoustics. Even being more than half empty...a couple of large parties made it so loud, you couldn't hear the conversation at your own table on the other side of the dining room

      2- The wait staff, even though they seemed to have come from all over (our waiter was from Pinos), had no clue. He mentioned some specials to us, and we could barely hear them.

      3- Tables too close together in a lot of cases- you could hear the conversation at the next table...

      4- NO ONE asked how our food was.

      5- If you were known,. various people came to those tables to see how everything was. Us being unknown, no one (including our waiter), could have cared less. Weird for a new restaurant.

      6- Indifferent hostesses- How can you open a new restaurant with indifferent hostesses? They barely greeted us, and then showed us to the table without personality.

      7- The waiter could barely hear our order due to the acoustics- the food came out properly, BUT, the runners had no idea where each course went, or who ordered what.

      8- Incredibly expensive! Three entrees, one pasta, two appetizers, two soda refills at $3.00 apiece and a $15 corkage fee brought the bill to $175. Way too expensive for what it was, (and where it isn't- Manhattan).

      9- The silverware- The table knives and forks were way too slippery. We dropped them passing them to each other, the waiter dropped them while cleaning the table. Strange, but true.

      The good:

      1- The food was good. Make no mistake about it. The food was good...but...it should have been for the prices.

      2- The bus person was fabulous....opened the wine....refilled the water glasses, cleaned the tables meticulously.

      All in all, it was a nice night out..Good food...just way too expensive and way too loud. I can't imagine the noise when the place is packed.

      Sure it's a soft opening...but that's certainly not going to lower the prices, nor soften the sounds. Proceed with caution.

      5 Replies
      1. re: sockster

        Wow! The noise factor from the acoustics is a real turn off to me. Since the prices are so high I think I will try them for lunch first. 15 dollar corkage fee!!!!!!!! WTF.

        1. re: sockster

          $15 corkage fee? Is that because they have a liquor license and you brought wine? Perhaps that is reasonable but if they have liquor license(doubting they do but perhaps I am wrong) then that is ridiculous.

          1. re: angelo04

            We brought our own wine- thus the $15 corkage. Some restaurants charge more, (we've seen up to $25), some charge less...and some don't charge at all. IMO, the $15 was a fair price.

            1. re: sockster

              So they have a liquor license then. Agreed that is fair.

          2. re: sockster

            Went for dinner on Sat night. The outdoor patio is simply beautiful and being that it was a gorgeous evening, it was a pleasure to have dinner outdoors. Here's my list of good and bad:

            1. Loved the bread basket with the three accompaniments which included delicious oilive oil, roasted eggplant, peppers and olives and whipped ricotta cheese with chives? all were very good.

            2. The burratta was delicious as was the fried calamari - crispy & not greasy at all.

            3. Our waiter was very nice but missed telling us all the specials. I overheard one of the other waiters giving the table behind us a few dishes we didn't hear about.

            4. Acoustics are horrible - the noise was deafening as soon as we walked in (6:45 PM) and it only got worse. As soon as we got our drinks we asked to be seated outside and stayed there for dinner.

            5. The table behind us was smoking. This is a BIG TURN OFF! I thought no smoking meant everywhere - including outdoors.

            6. I ordered the special which was black sea bass served with couscous. The fish was great but the couscous was so salty I left most of it and I like salt.

            7. My husband ordered the fish baked in foil and that was very good.

            8. Our espresso was excellent and served hot - unlike most places that serve it luke warm which is horrible.

            All in all a very nice place, but pricey and the noise and smoking will keep us away. The waiter claims the menu is just like Brando's in Asbury Park (one of the owners is the same), but the menu is not quite like Brando's.

            I am curious about their pizza, if anyone tries that please post.

          3. I wanted to check this place out too I hope it's good.

            1. We went last night. Believe what everyone says about the noise. IT'S SO LOUD!! They definitely need to get the place with some sound barriers or something, you can barely hear the person at your table without yelling across. It was that way for everyone.

              It's very pricey $ 24.00 for linguine with clams $ 32.00 for sea bass (I know this is the going price for sea bass) but they have a few steaks as specials for $ 60 and over. Really.. The Sunday special of meatballs, sausage, braciole was $ 29.00.

              Agreed the hostess does not greet you, smile, or even bother say anything to you. She was about 20 so maybe its an age thing?

              It really is beautiful inside. Our waiter was great with everything, but even he had to almost yell out the specials because of the level of noise in the place. I don't know if I would rush back. The pastas were good, but not where I was so amazed with it. Plus, my ears were ringing when I walked outside!!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Angelina

                I am willing to pay top $ for great food with the exception of Italian. I have been eating this my whole life and chances are its better in my house or that of a relatives. $29 for Sunday sauce? That is a bit much IMHO.

                1. re: angelo04

                  I am with you 100% Angelo!! $ 29.00 is really an extreme price, and to be honest, it was not worth $ 29.00. The pricing is high here, but like I said I am in no rush to go back. Next time I will bring my $ 100.00 to your house and you do the cooking!! Which I am sure it is well worth it!!

                  Besides, I think my ears are still ringing from all that noise!!

              2. Written up in ny times today....

                1 Reply
                1. Ok so last night the ole’ lady and I celebrated our 19th year of marital bliss. {{cough cough}} Since I’ve read so much about this place and it’s not too far from home I decided to give it a try. They have done a nice job transforming it from a bank into a restaurant; it was raining so the outside patio was not open.

                  We were greeted by a young but nice hostess who brought us to our table. We were immediately greeted by a bus person who offered us sparkling water to which I declined and he poured flat/tap. Foccacia bread was served with three sides, olive oil and roasted garlic, a whipped seasoned butter, and a pepper and onion chutney of some type. All three were very nice accompaniment to the bread.

                  As we got settled in my wife inquired with me how did I learned of this place, she said “Is this one of those places?” nodding her head towards my i-phone which sat on the table. (that is my very non-tech savvy wife’s way of asking me if I heard of this place because of Chow). I responded, yes it’s one of “those” places. She then likes for me to pull up the reviews on my phone for her to read to see if I’ve made a good choice. It’s the dysfunctional way of using the site.

                  Very shortly there after our waiter introduced himself and took our drink order. After delivering our drinks he read us the specials, which included a fresh mozzarella and *prosciutto appetizer which we ordered and we got an order of the fried calamari which also came with fried shrimp and scallops. Both appetizers were very, very good. The calamari’s flour was seasoned, perhaps a little too much salt for me, but good overall. Next time I would ask them to cut back on the salt a bit, but overall very fresh and flakey as a fried calamari should be.

                  For our entrée’s my wife choose a jumbo shrimp dish served in a spicy tomato sauce served over a polenta. The shrimp were true jumbo U-8’s and she enjoyed the meal. I choose the veal chop off the regular menu, it gives three options 1.) Grilled over mashed potatoes with sautéed Italian long hot peppers 2.) Pounded and breaded milanese, 3.) Pounded breaded parmegean.

                  I told Dom (our waiter) I have heard good things about the place so I had a level of comfort ordering veal on my first trip here, and I told him and the Chef to decide which way they thought was best to experience their veal chop. He chose the first option with the Italian long hot’s which was delicious. They sautéed the peppers whole, not cleaning out any of the seeds, I enjoyed about half of the peppers starting from the bottom, past the mid point it became to hot for my palate to handle. My tongue already had gone somewhat numb from what I had eaten.

                  For desert my wife got a vanilla ice cream topped with an espresso, which made it like coffee flavored ice cream, I had my stand by desert, a Grand Marnier (or two).

                  It was a Monday night so it never got that crowded that noise was an issue. I would most likely go back the meal described above plus 1 glass of wine, 2 martinis and 2 Grand Marnier was $195 prior to tip, so it’s not an inexpensive, that would be my biggest complaint, but I knew this going into it.

                  Fun Fact, I ran into an old acquaintance of mine Jim Florentine while there.

                  * I’m not sure how I spelled this originally but apparently spell check changed this to “prostitute” which I have now changed to prosciutto. Although who is to say fresh mozzarella with a prostitute wouldn't be enjoyable as well?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    JR! Please put a warning in your posts. Do not read while drinking coffee!!! I hope you plan on reading your post to your wife... proscciutto with a prostitute!!!! Happy Anniversary anyway!!!!!!

                    1. re: jrvedivici

                      Never understood the cell phone on the table thing. Shouldn't it be turned off as to not annoy other diners?