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New Jersey Monthly Magazine
Restaurant Review
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Dante's Ristorante

Reviewed by Susan Brierly   
Posted August 7, 2011

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Dante’s Ristorante
100 East Main Street, Mendham
973-543-5401, dantesnj.com


Hours:
Lunch, Mon–Sat, 11:30 am–4 pm. Dinner, Mon–Sat 4–10 pm; Sun 3–9 pm.

Price: $$

Style: This casual, comfortable, family-owned restaurant was recently redecorated in warm jewel tones and dark wood. Lighting is low during dinner, ideal for a romantic meal. Near the back entrance there’s a private party room as well as a bustling take-out counter.

Don’t Miss: Nestled on Mendham’s main drag, Dante’s is a local BYO favorite for lunch, dinner and pizza. Dinner appetizers include grilled polenta with rosemary sausage, broccoli rabe and cherry peppers ($11) and butternut-squash ravioli in a butter-sage cream sauce ($9.50). Among the standout entrées are Vitello Amalfi, Parmesan-crusted veal over sautéed spinach, asparagus and tomato in a demi-glace ($24); salmon dolci with sweet potato, scallions and gorgonzola in an herbed balsamic sauce ($23); and pollo scarparello, free-range chicken on the bone with sausage, roasted red peppers and fries ($20). Among the don’t-miss desserts are: tiramisu, apple tartin and ricotta-coconut cheesecake ($5.50-$7.50). Dante’s hosts private parties for up to 60 on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Catering is also available.

Heads Up: Insiders flock to Dante’s for the $14.95 three-course prix-fixe lunch. Portions are full and service is gracious. The lunch special will be available until December 1 and will resume in January. There’s plenty of parking behind the restaurant. The front entrance is wheelchair accessible.

The Scoop: Dante’s offers a variety of kid-pleasing dishes, and its take-out pizza business is brisk, especially on weekends. In fact, the pizza is so popular that local schools give all their “pizza day” business to the restaurant. The staff turns out about 150 pies each Friday morning for students at six area schools.

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