Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >
Oct 4, 2013 05:47 AM

Prosecco in Port Monmouth- A Great find!!

I drive by this place every day, and decided to go in last night. What struck me immediately was the was a normal lit up pizza place as you walked in, and a really nice dining room, great lighting and music to the left. I was intrigued by the fact that they make their own mozzarella in house, so I decided to order the mozzarella appetizer with prosciutto. The mozzarella, was amazing!!! Still warm, a little salty, it was perfect! The rest of the dish was wonderful, and I perused the menu as to what to have for dinner. They have a wood burning pizza oven and I was leaning that way, but the owner came over to introduce himself, (as he did to everyone), and see how the appetizer was. He recommended a pasta I had never had before, like these giant rigatoni's (paccheri), and I have to say, the pasta was fabulous! The service was absolutely wonderful- she was always there if you needed her but never obtrusive....

Prosecco in Port Monmouth is indeed a find. They are making excellent food in a great atmosphere. The owner told me they have live music Saturday and Sunday nights, and I will definitely be back..and be back soon. This restaurant is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. sockster, I'm so glad you stopped in Prosecco. My mail recently included a flyer/coupon for this place and I was intrigued by the tapas offerings. I'm going to try a few small plates over the weekend. I didn't realize they make fresh mozzarella. But when I head back from Jersey Roasters, I'm going to stop in.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    3 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      So I went last night with the wife. This place has some solid potential and the bottom line is that I will def be back to try more dishes.

      I won't make this too long as I have a meeting in a few but to start, the menu is quite extensive. They have:

      long list of 7.00 tapas (probably 20 or so)
      4 or 5 fresh mozz dishes
      a bunch of specialty pizzas
      a fair amount of pasta dishes
      several chicken dishes, a few fish, 2 veal and a ribeye for 23.00
      And some salads that I could care less about lol

      I got a stuffed chicken dish with goat cheese and proscuitto for 16.00 (a decent dish served with linguini.) To be critical, it wasn't great but for 16.00 it was good. There were two breasts and the pasta was al dente. The sauce was a brown mushroom and too thin IMO...and a little bland. It needed some salt. Overall decent but I would not get it again with all the other offerings.

      The wife got a MONSTER salad....a weak choice in my eyes but it was huge and the amount of preparation that went into this salad actually surprised me. It looked like someone spent ten minutes arranging this thing. It was pretty cool. I actually wanted to snap a picture of it but I am not a 19 year old girl on yelp so I passed.

      The bread is super tasty.

      Our waitress was such a sweetheart....very friendly and attentive.

      To start, I was in a seafood kind of mood so I opted for clams oreganto and scallops wrapped in a bacon. There were three good sized scallops served with CRISPY bacon...they got this right. Clams were ok,...probably would not get again.

      The dinner portions are quite substantial and for the money, the dinners are very fairly priced. I think the most expensive thing was a 23.00 ribeye.

      The decor is decent and they did a good job creating an open and airy feeling. There is an open kitchen view which is neat. Theyvibe was good and people working looked happy. I hate dreary places. The owner/manager (I believe) looked like he had great control over the work flow. The noise level was just right with some Italian music in the background.

      Next time I will get some fresh mozz. My stomach was not right last night so a lot of cheese for me wouldn't have sat well.

      Overall, I really like this spot. I want to try a lot more from here and the choices are vast. The prices are definitely good and portions (dinner wise) are nice. 7.00 tapas could be on the small side but hey, its only 7 bucks.

      And yes, its byob.

      Has anyone had the gnocchi dish?

      Oh and I forgot one of the best parts. They have this dish where you can pick out a few Italian meats and a few different cheeses to make your own antipasti (i guess you would call it.) I would have gotten that but didnt want to eat too much cheese.

      1. re: corvette johnny

        Thanks for the detailed review and some recommendations on what to select.

        1. re: corvette johnny

          Decided to try Prosecco last night because I dropped off my daughter at a sweet-16 party at Jacques nearby. Overall, I was underwelmed, but would return because I like BYOBs.
          Started off with fried calamari appetizer ($7). Nice, light, crispy coating, but may have been a little undercooked. Margerita pizza ($11) from the brick oven next was so so. Did not come to the table hot, which I could not understand because it should have been right out of the oven. We sent it back to be reheated and that made my wife happier. She always wants her food very hot. I had their Linguini Frank Sinatra ($21) which was piping hot out of the kitchen and remained hot throughout the meal. Scallops, shrimp, and pasta in the dish were cooked nicely, chopped clams were OK. Lots of fresh garlic in the dish, which I love, but could have used a little red pepper kick. The sauce was white wine based. No dessert or coffee ($5) because the portions were large. I really should have only eaten half my linguini dish, but I was very hungry and pigged out on the whole plate.
          Mostly inexperienced, young (18-21 yr old) wait staff that will need some motivation to learn the extensive menu. We sat for at least 5 minutes after we were seated (without menus) waiting for the girls to decide who was responsible for our table, then we got some menus and the usual teen-age comment: "Oh, i didnt see you there." What are you looking at in a place with only a dozen tables half full? Then after we ordered our appetizer, the first waitress handed us off to the second waitress to take our entree orders and tend to us for the rest of the meal.
          I will return to try some of their creative pizzas. They looked good on the menu and they also offer off-menu specials, which I always love to try.

      2. Hopefully they get a good following. That location is just awful. Nothing has worked there for a lengthy period of time (at least nothing that I can remember except for the convenience store)

        35 Replies
        1. re: corvette johnny

          Yeah, I had the same thought. So many spots have had the same 'history' UNTIL something really good comes along.

          The space on 35N that's been a Greek restaurant and then changed (again) is a prime example.

          The original Hunan House, same.

          Where Nemo's sits in Keyport.

          3 or 4 spots inside the Union Sq strip mall..

          1. re: HillJ

            The union square mall is hopeless. The old Red heads location just never works. It is a shame because Middletown is lacking in the restaurant department. That place is spacious, has a decent bar, ample parking and no one can get anything going there. Sad to say but I bet an olive garden would make it there. That place does volume. Teh bonefish across the street is always packed.

            I still need to try matata. I checked the menu out and the prices are definitely reasonable so hopefully the food is ok.

            Does Prosecco have a menu I can check out? If not, did they have steaks or chops?

            1. re: corvette johnny

              Matata's bento box was the real surprise for us. $12.00 and you semi customize the box. Enough for 3 say one app. I've been there twice now and really enjoyed it both times. Also, the sushi specials are delicious (I've tried 4 so far).

              Yeah, chains do well...including Outback..

              I haven't tried Prosecco yet, sockster might be able to answer more specifically. I no longer have the flyer that came in the mail but I found this:
              in case you want to call.

              1. re: corvette johnny

                The old Red Head's location is a tough area. You would think with so little around with a liquor license that someone would do good there. Is the license still available or has it been sold? After Red Head's it was a local restaurant pub and got a good write up in the APP, however I guess that wasn't enough, I don't know when it closed again.

                Telercio's and the Chinese Restaurant (name escapes me) are the only two places that have made it for any period of time there. Five Guys Shit Your Pant's and Fries has been there a couple of years but I'm not sure how well that store is doing, it never looks busy when I pass. FYI that Chinese Restaurant is not only good and delivers, it is one of the few Chinese Restaurants with a full liquor license and bar. (that's a big selling point to alcoholics like me)

                Speaking of alcohol, the Bone Fish has an excellent happy hour with $5.00 drinks and apps menu. Check it out!

                CJ, why would you go to a place called Prosecco's and even think about steaks and chops? When in Rome order pasta!! Come on man even I can go a day without red meat in exchange for some excellent Italian. Fresh home made mozz.....yummmmmm FYI I had fresh home made mozz stuffed with ricotta at Jimmy's in Asbury Park last week. Holy Mozzarella nivana!!!

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  The office lunch crowd use to pack that Red Head's location for years. I had one meal at the Chinese restaurant you're speaking of and only recall how greasy the moo soo pork was. Bone Fish brunch is pretty decent. Re; Italian steak, never had Steak Pizzaiola? Delicious.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Steak Pizziaola.....please! Do you know who you are chatting with!! lol My point is I tend to try to stick with what places specialize in, which in this case seems to be fresh mozzarella. Steak in an Italian restaurant is very similar to veal in an Italian restaurant for me, you have to earn my trust before I would order it. I would NEVER order veal on my first experience in an Italian restaurant, over time if you earn my confidence I will trust you enough to try it. Same goes for steak in my opinion.

                    1. re: jrvedivici

                      I DO believe I know...which is why I was surprised by the assumption prior to a visit to Prosecco.

                      I'm going to stop in tomorrow. Find out a few things for myself.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          It would be amusing if a literally-minded person followed that recipe exactly as written... because the steak is allowed to stand at room temperature, but never goes on the grill. For the rare meat lovers!

                          1. re: drongo

                            Rao live & Rao on TV, two diff steaks, yes?!

                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        JR, well there are two reasons.First, I just love steak. I find myself ordering steaks at places I shouldn't be. You are right. When in rome... LOL

                        Second, Ciao Bella made a very good NY strip steak. You would never guess that a tiny italian place stuck in a strip mall would be able to turn out such a good dish. So this is why I like to try steaks at places like this. Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes they are awful too.

                        Anyway, my latest "go to" dish recently has been the pork chop at harborside. For 20 its a decent dish (sub out the potato pancakes for mashed though)

                        That chinese place is Hunan House. And yes, it has been there for years. The food there is pretty decent.

                        1. re: corvette johnny

                          No, Hunan House is gone and was wonderful in its hayday.
                          House of Chong is located in the Union Sq and we differ op's on that place.

                          As for the steaks, no argument there. Just giving you a bit of a hard time :)

                          1. re: HillJ

                            Sorry, yeah I switched the Chinese place names up. I meant house of chong : )

                            JR, this talk of veal has me thinking Christines tonight.

                            PS, the CC has this new porkchop that is pretty darn delicious. And they have fajitas on the menu (not that I would order those over the steak but I can hopefully convince my wife to get them so I can steal one)

                            1. re: corvette johnny

                              Make sure you call ahead, I actually got shut out of Christine's last week, so make your reservation and SPECIFY if you want a specific table/area.

                              House of Chong is the place I was speaking of in Union Sq. Mall. I've never had a bad meal, although I probably only order from there once or twice a year.

                              I have never been to the Ciao Bella you speak of, but there was one in Somerville I use to really like and went fairly often. Jayson Williams of NY Net's, then later murder charges fame, bought me dinner there one time!

                        2. re: jrvedivici

                          Don't forget Fratelli's. it's been there at least as long as the others. Very good pizza, nice place overall.

                      2. re: HillJ

                        The Greek place you are speaking of was set back a little bit off 35 in the Holmdel/Hazlet area? It re-opened after the Greek place and closed again?

                        1. re: jrvedivici

                          That's the one, jrv. At one point is was a pizza chain for families...and before that...

                          1. re: HillJ

                            Speaking of closures...

                            Ciao bella just closed in Highlands. I heard they are moving apparently down rt 35 and over by laurel ave. (near the bait and tackle place)

                            I am a huge fan of that place so hopefully the new neighborhood embraces them.

                            1. re: corvette johnny

                              Oh really? I wasn't aware of any of the Highland restaurant updates of late. Thanks for the heads up.

                              1. re: corvette johnny

                                I live way up in Sussex County, but always ate at Ciao Bella after visiting Sandy Hook. I was so disappointed to hear that they closed!!! Do you have updated details if they opened another place yet? If so, where and what is the name? Thanks!

                                1. re: anthvinn

                                  I'm hoping they will return to the same spot after the building renovation is completed.

                                  1. re: cke25

                                    I thought cvs was taking over that entire lot?

                              2. re: HillJ

                                The owner of the Greek Place had it listed for sale on Craiglist for a long time. I looked at it well over a year ago, thinking it was the "It's Greek to Me" near the Houlihans on 35 in Holmdel. The owner was very burned out and really wanted to get out of the but after seeing the location and realizing it wasn't where/what I thought it was I passed.

                                What is there now and how are they doing?

                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  A semi Greek/Medd kinda place with very little to write home about. That mall has very little traffic.

                                  The It's Greek to Me in L/B-Pier VIllage has it over the Holmdel location but the Greek Grill off Ocean Ave has it over both.

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    To the OP: thanks for the review. We live close by and it seems like Looks can be deceiving. I actually got some Valpak coupons from Prosecco with the typical "2 pies and a 2 Liter" stuff on it, so I sort of wrote it off. We will give it a try soon.

                                    Gardenia Grill replaced Mad Greek in Hazlet. I went in once apparently during their transition, when they still had the old menus with things crossed off, and it wasn't very good. I decided to give it another try two weeks ago, and it seems like they made a lot of tweaks and it was pretty good. I had some chicken and Lamb kabobs over a Salad. Also tried the lentil soup. I brought my wife back a few days later, and we had gyro platters and chicken soup. Both times were pretty good. The place definitely has more of a Mediterranean vibe now, but at least they are trying.

                                      1. re: coldsolderjoint

                                        I remember Mad Greek -- just north of Costco on Rte 35 N, south of Red Oak diner. I think I wrote a review of it here, but the thread was deleted.

                                        The Yelp reviews for Gardenia Grill are generally good, and some of them indicate that there's a Turkish connection. I'll have to try it out.

                              3. re: HillJ

                                Don't give up on either location. I am championing both for the sake of my own taste buds. Prosecco pizza (Traditional plain NY) I am HOOKED. The new Matata Asia at the old Hunan site, has a mini tour of the Orient lined up. Don't go in looking for the usual American Chinese. Step out of the box and try something new. (However, I could eat their LO Mein everyday) I am welcoming it back into my life now that it's finally done right. You'll be greeted happily at the door and treated immediately like family. Try the Thai Crispy Chicken Breast (sauce on the side if you want to control the "heat)

                                1. re: yeepat

                                  You're right, I should head back. I'm enjoying Matata and Prosecco for very specific menu items and haven't tried something new off the menu from either.

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    Prosecco has an over-sized rigatoni dish made with their homemade sausage. Most everyone likes it. Salads (garden salad) are made nicely and oversized. Feeds 3 easy. I have had a panini in a rush , it was good. Could only eat half..(because I had to have the garlic knots, as always)
                                    Matata I have tried most everything...
                                    Crispy Peppercorn Chicken
                                    Thai Basil (Shrimp, Vegetables), Red Curry. Hubby is a pork fried rice fan.

                                    1. re: yeepat

                                      Thanks for the recommendation, yeep!

                                      1. re: yeepat

                                        I did try this dish when my brother in law had it...pretty tasty. This was the one with some type of white sauce right?

                                        1. re: corvette johnny

                                          it is definitely not a red sauce. I want to say it leans to mascarpone. The server suggested "family -sizing" it the second time I ordered it. There were 4 adults. OMG, we needed more people. I had a simple spaghetti marinara one night and I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

                              4. On the heels of sockster's review, I made it to Prosecco today. The take out area and the dine-in are very nice. The Mgr. went over the entire menu with me and shared as sockster did that live music is offered on the weekends- a piano player croons Sat & Sunday (I'm told French & Italian songs). I was told Fri is their big pizza take out night,

                                So, armed with a lot of info I ordered a piece of the freshly made mozzarella, plain. It was warm and included two warmed rolls. When I came home I drizzled some olive oil on the bread and dug in. Very delicious! $9.00

                                I also ordered two tapas items: Goat cheese Polenta Cake and Shrimp Cocktail.

                                You're presented with 4 large, perfectly cleaned and steamed shrimp with a small pot of cocktail sauce $7. Nothing unique in the prep here. Very tasty, I was in the mood for some chilled shrimp against the warm polenta cake..

                                Which was definitely the star of my order. Two nice size polenta cakes beautifully breaded (not overly breaded) all toasty warm with a generous dollop of goat cheese that melts just a bit over the cakes along with a generous topping of walnut pieces and honey drizzle all sitting on a bed of baby spinach. $7. A real treat.

                                I'll be back for live music and in house dining at some point.

                                Check it out!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: HillJ

                                  does anyone have a menu? I looked online and could not find anything.

                                  1. re: corvette johnny

                                    Just go! It's awesome...and if you want chicken parm, they have that too!!

                                2. Prosecco Italian Bistro 732 495 5900
                                  Our family of 5 went today thank you Sockster for this find! It was a delightful meal for all of us! The pizza was outstanding, the scallops and bacon fabulous, the Mozzarella with roasted peppers and I forget what else was really really really good! Etc. Etc! My son had Frank Sinatra, seafood and pasta, we had gnocci and ravioli sorry that is all I can remember but everyone shared and everyone loved the food. The owners were warm and caring and seriously concerned about pleasing us. They could not have been more charming and gracious. The food was worth the half hour trip we made to get there. A lovely meal and yes Sockster I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it too! We will be back. I look forward to trying many different "Italaian Tappas" but will always include their fresh mozzarella! Then again, maybe the pizza too which was really really my favorite, or maybe….

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: EL7

                                    YAY, please, save my pizza place!!!!

                                    1. So I finally found my favorite appetizer there. Beef Carpaccio!

                                      This really hit home with me. For 7 bucks I will probably order two next time. If you are a carnivore give this a shot. It is served with some minced red onion, a few capers and some sea salt.

                                      Also, I talked to Dominic the chef and he told me he had some real nice NY angus strips last night so I got one. He will cook it how you want it with different veggies/sauces. I opted for some sauteed mushrooms and caramelized onions. This was a real nice quality steak done medium rare. For 23 bucks I was very impressed and I'd say it was in the 16oz range, give or take an ounce. I usually stop to talk to Dominic so I think he got me a nice cut. This was tender, cooked to right temp, smothered with a ton of onions and mushrooms, and served with a large portion of fried crispy potatoes. Other more well known steak houses would charge twice this. Anyway, I know Italian joints are normally not famous for steaks but I eat a lot of steak and last night they got it right. Hopefully they keep getting the same quality beef. It is the best steak ever, no, but for the money I think it is a nice deal. I'd like to hear some other opinions on it.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: corvette johnny

                                        Well I hope he knows you as Corvette Johnny, cause I'm dropping your name when I go so I get a similar cut!!

                                        I'm going to request a steak pizziole', something you don't see often and I have a feeling this place would do well. I gotta get my a$$ over there soon. Thanks for the report.

                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                          HAHA, just tell him your buddy Jon sent you and he recommends your steaks. He will probably know me. And yes, I believe he will make you a steak pizzaiola. He seems eager to make anything you want.

                                          The kitchen is open so you can just walk right up to the front and talk to Dominic. He is off monday. You can tell this guy likes food and likes what he does. He definitely puts care into his dishes.

                                          Try the beef carpaccio too. Even if you are not a big carpaccio guy, for 7 bucks I would like to hear your take on it. I really connected with this dish. The texture of the thinly sliced tender beef and the flavor profile were spot on. The minced onion was very finely chopped, almost pureed, and didn't over power the beef.

                                          I love his fried potatoes. They do them right. And my steak before last night had a nice cognac demi glaze. That was tasty too. I might try a bearnaise next time. man, now I am hungry….

                                          1. re: corvette johnny

                                            Speaking of beef carpaccio, Brio at the Freehold Raceway Mall actually does a good one.. get it during happy hour (Mon - Fri 3:30 - 6:30).. it's only $4 as opposed to the regular price of $12.95!