You bet your sweet bippy that the Safersteins will return to Bici, a new 50-seat restaurant serving modern Italian cuisine. The food and service impressed us that much, which is no easy feat as there as so many Italian restaurants in New Jersey.
White tablecloths set with gray napkins, gray walls, a wood floor, dim lighting and a picture of a bike on one wall create a cozy ambiance. Bici means bike in Italian and owners Marcelo Gambarato and Anthony DeVanzo, other restaurant, Velo in Nyack, means bike in French. The spiffy waitstaff in black pants and shirts have been well trained. Bread plates and silverware are replaced, water and wine glasses refilled and menu questions competently answered. Specials were written out with their prices.
Herbed olive oil and a tomato/spinach/Grana Padano spread was served with warm crusty bread. Crispy spinach topped creamy malfatti, a ricotta dumpling, which is now on my “best of 2016” list. It was served with tomato besciamella sauce and Grana Padano; a delightful change from pasta. Cauliflower took a starring role in the colorful due sformati which reminded us of a soufflé or flan. This savory pudding was topped with frisee, pecorino and a truffled beet vinaigrette; a creative and well-executed dish.
Two fish entrees also made an impression. Crispy-skinned striped bass came with polenta fries and a warm grape, wild mushroom and watercress sauce. A roasted lemon buerre blanc surrounded a juicy swordfish that sat on top of garlic wilted watercress and a potato pancake (as good as mine). Other menu items were: pappardelle with wild boar sausage, fresh tomato and caciocavallo; grass-fed filet mignon topped with a truffle and egg yolk ravioli; osso buco; and rice-encrusted tuna with broccoli rabe.
Of course we had dessert. I was so sorry that I had to share. Tiramisu, which can be ho-hum, was excellent with lady fingers, sweet wine custard, espresso anglaise and espresso bark. This free-form dessert was not served in a glass, another example on how Bici serves creative cuisine that is worth seeking out.
Open for lunch Tuesday through Friday and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.
61 E Main St
Ramsey, NJ 07446
Due sformati, a cauliflower savory pudding topped with frisee, pecorino and a truffled beet vinaigrette.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
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