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New Jersey Monthly Magazine
Restaurant Review
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Sette Cucina Italiana

Reviewed by Susan Brierly   
Posted February 6, 2011

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SETTE CUCINA ITALIANA
7 Mine Brook Road, Bernardsville
908-502-5054, settecucina.com


Hours: Lunch, Mon-Fri, noon-2 pm. Dinner, Mon-Thurs, 5-9 pm; Fri and Sat, 5-10 pm.

Price:
$$/$$$

Style: A chic, hospitable, eight-table BYO in the heart of Bernardsville. The atmosphere is sophisticated, with sunny yellow walls and a tin ceiling.

Don’t Miss: Try the sformato di cipolle savory onion tart served with field greens ($12) or the involtini di melanzane baked eggplant with fresh ricotta and plum tomatoes ($9). Standout entrées include the gnocchi alla Bolognese in a rich ragù ($22); herbed cod baked in parchment ($24); and a signature favorite—slow-cooked beef stew with dried porcini mushrooms, red wine reduction and creamed polenta ($24). Don’t leave without tasting the panna cotta orange-essence custard, profiteroles in warm chocolate-raspberry sauce, or la millefoglie calda pastry filled with lemon custard (each $6). 

Heads Up: Located next door to the Bernardsville Cinema, Sette offers Tuesday night dinner-and-a-movie specials, as well as a Monday to Thursday pre-fixe menu ($38 plus tax and gratuity). There’s plenty of parking behind the restaurant and also at the train station across the street. Sette hosts private parties for up to 32 guests throughout the week and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

The Scoop: Most nights, proprietor and executive chef Allan Philip Russo features dishes from at least eight regions of Italy. He enjoys visiting with patrons and will even give you a tour of the kitchen on request. Born in Switzerland, Russo was raised with a deep appreciation of food and hospitality—his father, who comes from a long line of Sicilian fishermen, is the proprietor and executive chef at critically acclaimed Da Filippo’s in Somerville, and his aunt was the personal chef of Samuel Bronfman of the famed Seagram’s distillery family.

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