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Best Italian in Monmouth County

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  1. La Dolce Vita in Belmar is outstanding....there are quite a few at the top, but this is my favorite right now.

    http://www.belmarrestaurant.com/

    1. Mossuto's in Wall.

      Everything I have ever had there, it has been amazing!! Even the BEST pizza!

      http://www.yelp.com/biz/mossutos-mark...

      http://shop.mossutosmarket.com/

      1. Mossuto's in Wall, and like Angelina said, the pizza is amazing.

        1. Old school Italian, Jimmy's Asbury park. 30+-(?) years of excellent food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jrvedivici

            Yeah, that'd be the one I'd top off the list with as well.

            1. re: jrvedivici

              That's where I had the best shrimp parm dinner in my life. I might have to venture back soon...

            2. Undici in Rumson has always been my favorite as well as the deepest wine list. Also, most expensive, you think your in the West Village by the prices.

              1. I've been enjoying Christine's in Atlantic Highlands lately.

                1. Squan Tavern in Manasquan. Awesome pizza & tasty dishes!

                  1. With all due respect, NOLA, the food at Squan tavern is terrible. Their meatballs are tasteless and their sauce is awful. Back in the day they were not too bad but now the opinion down here is they are not good. Maria's is also getting some lousy reports too since they sold.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CatLadyJan

                      CatLady, I grew up enjoying Squan's pizza & pasta but I can't speak about the meatballs because I have never tried them. But everything I have had there in my 40+ years I have enjoyed, especially their stuffed breads! I was never a Maria's fan, (in all my years living in Manasquan I might have been there twice with friends who wanted to go).

                    2. NOLA, I understand, but Squan is definitely not what it used to be and what it used to be was IMO just okay. There is no compare to say, Mossuto's. I always thought Maria's was way better than Squan, but since they sold they are getting some really bad reports. So is squan from friends of mine who use to dine there frequently.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: CatLadyJan

                        Cat, I'm going to have to give Mossuto's a try if you say it's that good! Also, have you been to Antonio's Trotteria on 35 in Wall? It's the old Family Tree Tavern from back in the day. Not bad either. I know you're not a Squan fan, but there was a nice article in the Asbury Park Press a couple weeks ago on the Bossone family celebrating their 50th year of having Squan Tavern open...

                        1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                          I'm wholly with CatLady on this one. While I think that both the Bossones and the Bertuccis (former Maria's owners) are wonderful families, both restaurants have declined over the years. To me, the decline is much more noticeable with Maria's, but that's likely because I was never as big a fan of Squan,* finding their red sauce a bit too sweet for my taste. Given their proximity, I will still patronize each on occasion (it's hard to completely "give up" on places that have been the "neighborhood joints" for a lifetime), but approach with modest expectations.(BTW - they did a nice job with the "clean up" of the dining room at ST).

                          *As you may recall, being from a Maria's family or a Squan Tavern family was an identifier for children in this dopey town. I'm even pretty sure that the divide may have finished off more than a few high school sweethearts.

                          1. re: MGZ

                            Maria's, up the block from Committed Pig, opposite side of the street? Is that the right place? I remember walking past a small Italian place on my way to the liquor store on Main St. (mimosa's and bloody mary's at Committed Pig,...these are the idea's I come up when you make me wait 15 mins for a table on a Sun morning, don't judge me!) Anyway......I walked past a small Italian restaurant and remember having dined there 20+- years ago when I first moved to the area.....and I remember I liked it, a lot as the matter of fact, but just a little too out of the way for us to have returned.

                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              That's the place. My first visit was for my christening party. Though, I'm afraid I have forgotten what I ordered.

                              For a long, long time it was true gem. Twenty, twenty-five years ago, the place was probably at the peak of its powers. It would have been my undisputed choice for this thread. As I noted, however, it was a funny time in Manasquan with two Italian restaurants, practically around the corner from one another, each having a loyal local and tourist following. (Kinda like the Tuzzio's/Nunzio's thing in Long Branch musta been.)

                          2. re: NJlovesNOLA

                            NOLA, I really think you would enjoy Mossuto's. It is excellent. Their pizza is not the "traditional" crispy crust type but it is quite good. Their pasta dishes are IMO outstanding, especially their rigatoni bolognese and linguine with white clam sauce or red. We were at Antonios in wall about a month ago. It was not bad. If you go to Mossutos try the pork chop milanese with arugula salad. It is delicious. I will give Squan another try. I know some of my friends do enjoy their pizza.

                            1. re: CatLadyJan

                              Cat, thanks for the tip! We are defintely going to venture to Mossuto's in the near future (maybe this weekend!). Antonio's isn't bad, I agree. We live 5 blocks in from the place & it took us about 6 months of always seeing a full parking lot there to give it a try. Glad we did! Hopefully when you go back to Squan, you'll agree that it's not that bad after all, although again, I can't comment on the meatballs because I have never had them. They actually have a pretty good $5 lunch menu at the bar & they are participating in Restaurant Week in April, so at least you won't spend too much money if you don't like what you try! LOL

                              1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                                NOLA, went to Mossutos last night and had the homemade linguini with garlic and oil. A guy next to us had the homemade linguini with white clam sauce (fresh clams in the shell like it's supposed to be). It looked and smelled delicious. Just one thing.....when you go DO NOT SHARE, LOL!

                                1. re: CatLadyJan

                                  YUM!!! That's how I make it at home. I do prefer the white clam sauce over the red, so that's right up my alley! Thanks for the report Cat!

                        2. I dislike the word "BEST" as it is so subjective,.....
                          that said here's a suggestion.

                          http://ilfornettonj.com/index.html

                          1. Ok how about the tastiest?? That would be Fratello's in Sea
                            Girt by far!!!

                            1. My favorites: Piccola Italia in Oakhurst for northern Italian.
                              I also really like Gaetano's in RB.

                              Favorite pizza place is now Sea Bright Pizza. Outstanding

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: ParadiseWaits

                                Gaetano's is pretty good, that's true

                                1. re: ParadiseWaits

                                  Is Piccola byob?

                                  1. re: angelo04

                                    No they have a full bar, rather nice one.