“Haven’t we been here before?” I asked Lowell when we entered La Brace in Little Falls. “This place looks familiar.” It turns out that La Brace Seafood & Grill is owned by Daniela Moncada and his daughter Nicola, who previously owned Due Nicola and Daniela’s at the same location.
This cute, small storefront restaurant with about 28 seats has a brick wall, Italian pictures and white cloth napkins and tablecloths. Service was attentive, silverware replaced and specials written out with their prices.
Olives and chunks of cheese, hot crusty bread and a bottle of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil were placed on the table when we were seated. La Brace, which means grill or embers, served a beautifully charred and tender octopus with radicchio, red onions and chickpeas. A special of figs stuffed with goat cheese encircled by Italian salami was as delicious as it looked, as was burrata with grilled vegetables and prosciutto. The salmon tartar topped with mashed avocado and surrounded by a ring of toast points and the mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat sitting on a creamy turmeric sauce were equally colorful and completely consumed.
We were impressed that the two separate orders, one of a whole bronzino and the other of bronzino fillets, were both juicy and fresh tasting. Clams, mussels and shrimp circled a chunk of Chilean sea bass in a light marechiara tomato sauce. These entrees came with tiny sides of spinach and roasted potato.
Tagliolini with lump crabmeat and pink vodka sauce was a rich stomach stuffer. The risotto alla montecristo, another recommended dish, reminded us of the Italian flag as it had green asparagus, reddish grilled shrimps and white risotto. The one disappointment was the pappardelle seafood ragu with eggplant in light tomato sauce. The seafood used in this dish was diced so small that it was indistinguishable and the accompanying sauce was bland.
Tiramisu and a few other desserts are made in house. The plate of mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries) with vanilla Bavarian cream was luscious and refreshing. The pistachio layered cake was prettier than it tasted.
La Brace Seafood & Grill, 77 Main Street, Little Falls 973-339-5824; Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner. BYOClick here to leave a comment