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This week Rosie tells us about Civile E Tornato in Metuchen, Millie’s in Morristown, a special St Patrick’s Day menu being offered till March 24 at Stage Left in New Brunswick and much more news about NJ restaurants.
CIVILE E TORNATO, METUCHEN
It’s all about the specials at Civile E Tornato, which means “Civile is back,” which opened in July 2012 in Metuchen. The restaurant, previously located in Kennilworth, closed in 2004 because of a fire. We weren’t excited about the menu as it listed the usual Italian dishes that are seen in so many restaurants throughout the state. However, when the waiter started reciting the long list of specials (without the prices) our ears perked up. We honed in on “super zuppa” a large bowl of mussels, clams, shrimp, crumbled sweet Italian sausage and garlic bread in a spicy marinara sauce, which was so flavorful that we finished it off with our spoons. This dish easily feeds four or can be ordered as a main course.
My entrée was an app portion of three, nicely sized Sicilian meatballs topped with ricotta cheese served in a sweet pine-nut raisin, tomato sauce; refreshingly different and paired with a large side of perfectly cooked broccoli rabe with chunks of garlic, these two dishes had us planning our next visit to the restaurant. Pork osso bucco didn’t need a knife to separate the meat from the bone and was accompanied with saffron rice. Salmon and sautéed spinach came with a delightful lemon Chardonnay sauce, a lovely dish if you want a lighter entrée. A special of Italian jambalaya, an extremely large portion, was flecked with pieces of chicken, sausage, peppers and onions. This was perfect comfort food for a cold winter night and along with the meatballs was the favorite dish at our table. One dessert was shared, a house-made tiramisu.
Civile E Tornato is small, about 50 seats, so make a reservation and if possible, go early in the evening as the restaurant gets noisy when full. They are open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 10 PM.
Civile E Tornato,
140 Durham Ave
KINGS, GILLETTE GRAND OPENING WEEKEND
Enter to win dinner for two at Pluckemin Inn, courtesy of New Jersey Monthly, and join me on Friday, March 22, between 2 and 4 PM, to sample chocolate and chat about restaurants as part of the grand opening weekend (Friday, March 22 – Sunday, March 24) at the new location of Kings at 977 Valley Road in Gillette. Along with my appearance, there will be many promotions to take advantage of including:
· Customers are invited to join Kings at 10 AM on March 22, for its grand opening ceremonies, complete with signature pasta-ribbon cutting.
· The first 500 customers that day will receive a complimentary whisk courtesy of Kings.
· Throughout the weekend, shoppers can taste their way through the store as Kings offers chef demonstrations, delicious sampling and special giveaways.
· Nutritionist consultations and store tours will be available during select hours on Friday, March 22, Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24.
This new Kings will offer Neapolitan-style pizza, grain exchange and mezze bars, over 300 international cheeses, flower boutique, coffee house with cappuccino and espresso bar, café with WiFi, chef-inspired prepared foods, local and organic produce and meat offerings, sustainable seafood options, fresh-squeezed juice and much more.
MILLIE’S OLD WORLD MEATBALLS AND PIZZA, MORRISTOWN
We love meatballs and we love pizza. When Millie’s Old World Meatballs and Pizza opened in February in Morristown, with a menu offering two different types of pizza, one made in a wood oven, the other in a coal-fired oven, as well as meatballs, salads, sandwiches and cheese platters, we thought that we’d give this casual restaurant a try. The space is stunning with an open kitchen hosting the two pizza ovens, one a bright red, with a dramatic black, white, and gray tile wall.
We started with the meatball platter that comes with 2 ($5), 4 ($10) or 6 ($14) cue-size balls that have been deep fried giving them a hard unappealing crust we needed a knife to cut. The inside was dry and the accompanying marinara sauce and warm ricotta for dipping did not save them. The large, 16-inch Millie’s Signature coal-fired pie for $19 came with fresh peeled tomatoes sautéed with fresh garlic and a special blend of seasoning, homemade mozzarella, fresh basil, grated pecorino Romano and a fabulous crunchy, charred crust with chewy interior. This was the better of the two pies we tried. The small 4-slice, personal-size Neapolitan wood fired pizza had a smattering of Italian sausage and broccoli rabe and for $18 we would have liked more product. Its base was a ricotta spread, topped with mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano and extra virgin olive oil. Desserts, a nutella pie and some ice cream creations were bypassed. Millie’s is open daily from 11:30 AM and named after the grandmother of the owners who are cousins.
Millie’s Old World Meatballs and Pizza
60 South Street
STAGE LEFT, NEW BRUNSWICK ST PATRICK’S DAY MENU
Celebrate St Patrick’s Day from now to March 24 at Stage Left, 5 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick with two menus inspired by the food of the Emerald Isle.
The following dishes will be on the Dignified Irish Tasting menu: potato leek soup with prawn; carpaccio of Irish salmon with salmon roe, horseradish, and preserved lemons; boxty (a traditional Irish potato pancake) with lamb bacon, arugula pesto and tomato; stuffed lamb with barley and crispy kale colcannon; a selection of Irish cheeses ($10 supp); and sticky toffee pudding with elderflower crème fraîche. $59 plus tax and service.
A Pre-Theater Irish Tasting Menu will consist of: carpaccio of Irish salmon with salmon roe, horseradish, and preserved lemons; stuffed lamb with barley and crispy kale colcannon; and sticky toffee pudding with elderflower crème fraîche for $45 plus tax and service. Available until 6:15 PM.
For reservations call 732-828-4444.
ROSA MEXICANO, HACKENSACK
Rise and Shine with Rosa Mexicano, Riverside Square, 390 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack as they are now offering a Mexican Breakfast on weekends. Some menu items include: fried eggs and carnitas hash; soft scrambled eggs with cactus paddle; creamy breakfast tamale; and stuffed French toast. Reservations: 201-489-9100.
A SUDS CELEBRATION
It’s not too early to make plans to celebrate beer at the Atlantic City Beer and Music Fest, that will be held April 5 and 6 at the Atlantic City Convention Center, 1 Miss America Way, Atlantic City with over 80 different breweries in attendance, For information log onto: http://celebrationofthesuds.com/
On March 17 and March 24 a Matzah Making workshop will be held at Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse, 369 Stamets Road, Milford from 1 to 2:30 and 3 to 4:30; $10. This is a hands-on event, and small children are welcome. To register log onto: http://shop.cowsoutside.com/specialholidayevents.aspx
The Fruited Plain Caterers, 48 Stiles Lane, Pine Brook has a special Passover menu to make your holiday easier. Delivery, pickup and service attendants available. Order by Sunday March 17. For information visit www.thefruitedplain.com or call 973-808-8862.
Kuzina by Sofia, Sawmill Shopping Center, 404 Rt 70 W, Cherry Hill will be offering a special Passover Catering Menu. For information log onto http://kuzinabysofia.com or call 856-429-1061; BYO.
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