Restaurant News

This week Rosie tells us about Salugo Bistro in Verona, Red Sky Restaurant in Keyport, Amanti Vino Oktoberfest and much more news about NJ restaurants.

We’ve tasted many red sauces in a myriad of New Jersey Italian restaurants and they are all different. Some we love, others ruin the dish. The red sauce at Salugo Bistro in Verona, a sister restaurant of Salute in Montclair, is a palate pleaser and now this restaurant is on our “let’s go back” list.

There are three types of pizza offered: Salugo-style, 12-inch pizza; home-style, classic 16-inch pizza; and thin, crispy, pan pizza. We ordered the mozzarella, roasted eggplant, and grana padano (a semi-aged hard Italian cheese) pizza, which is also available gluten free or with a whole-wheat crust. The crust was crisp, mozzarella stringy and creamy, eggplant flavorful, and the tomato sauce…well, it rocks. An appetizer of three zucchini rollatini—similar to eggplant rollatini—were filled with rich, herbed ricotta and colorfully presented with a hat of basil leaves and the red sauce. There was enough for an entrée or to share. Pasta with penne vodka is like tiramisu, every restaurant makes it differently. Here, the tomato-cream sauce is spiced up with red-chili flakes, enlivening the dish. Do try it. A hearty escarole salad was topped with rafts of Parmigiano Reggiano, but I found the dressing to be too sweet. Lowell, however, liked it. Salugo is a neighborhood restaurant that distinguishes itself with quality ingredients, low prices, and friendly staff. Take-out and delivery are available.

Pizza at Salugo.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

Zucchini rollatini.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

Salugo Bistro
510 Bloomfield Avenue
973 857-2584


Park behind the restaurant. Why? Well, in the middle of dinner our waiter came to our table and told us if we were parked near the pier, we should move our car because the tide was coming in and the parking lot would soon be underwater. And he was right. By the time we left Red Sky in the Keyport Marine Basin, the water was inching up to the restaurant.

This is a very casual eatery under the direction of chef/owner James DeSilvestri, who offers a small concise menu of mostly seafood dishes. Appetizers include: steamed mussels with shallots, garlic, white wine, and butter sauce; fried shrimp dumplings with tangy dipping sauce; mushroom stuffed with crab and topped with fontina cheese; and our favorite, corn, cheddar-cheese fritters. A small salad of mixed lettuces, tomato, and red onion came with dinner. Entrees were seared scallops, beautifully plated with frizzled carrot and a velvet lemon sauce; perfectly cooked coriander-crusted salmon; crab cakes with a zesty remoulade, which we thought had too much filler; and a really good NY strip steak that was juicy and tender. All entrees came with the same sides of roasted potatoes and yellow and green zucchini. Two desserts were shared: a scrumptious Bananas Foster made with warm, butter-rum sauce and vanilla ice cream; and a berry shortcake filled with blueberries and strawberries, with a scoop of ice cream and whipped cream.

Red Sky Restaurant
340 W Front Street (Keyport Marine Basin)
Keyport, New Jersey


On October 19, the Fourth Annual Amanti Vino Oktoberfest will be held at the Wellmont Theater, 5 Seymour St in Montclair to benefit Intensive Therapeutics, an occupational therapy group for children with special needs. VIP tickets include beer and high-end wine tastings in the mezzanine along with gourmet treats to nibble. Throughout the event attendees will have full access to the general admission area, and can listen to the band from the balcony; 6:30 to 11 PM; $150. General admission tickets: 7:30 to 11 PM; $80, includes all you can eat, wine, and beer. For information or tickets call 973-509-9463.


The Dome at The Manor, 111 Prospect Ave, West Orange is now open to the public every Friday and Saturday night for cocktails and dancing. DJs will feature dance music from 9 PM to closing. This rooftop lounge with ample seating overlooks The Manor’s formal gardens and was originally designed for (but never integrated into) the White House during the Benjamin Harrison administration (1889-1893). It was adapted for The Manor and added to the West Orange landmark in 1975 and renovated in 2010. Information: 973-731-2360.

Photo courtesy of David E. Starke Photography


On Friday nights and Saturday afternoons and evenings, through October 27, Oktoberfest will be celebrated at Zeppelin Beer Hall, 88 Liberty View Drive, Jersey City, with live German party bands, eight different Oktoberfest beers on tap and Bavarian culinary specialties. There will also be prizes and contests. Information: 201-721-8888.


Collingswood Fall Restaurant Week will be held October 14 through October 19 with special-priced meals from participating restaurants. For more information, visit

The South Jersey Hot Chefs will celebrate Fall Harvest Week October 14 through October 19 with participating restaurants offering four-courses for $35 or $25. Information:



Amanda’s, 908 Washington St, Hoboken has an early dinner special of $32, for two (or $16 per person), which includes any house wine at $20 for the bottle. This offer is valid Monday through Saturday nights for 5 or 5:30 PM seatings. Reservations: 201-798-0101.

Session Bistro
, a 45-seat New-American restaurant located at 245 Maywood Ave, Maywood, serves from-scratch preparations with Asian and Mediterranean influences, and is now serving three-course Sunday brunch from 10:30AM to 3 PM for $15.95. Lunch is Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 2:30 PM and includes smaller-size dinner items, a full range of tapas or small plates, burgers, hot dogs and salads. Reservations: 201-880-7810; BYO.

Please send press releases and restaurant news, including information on staff changes, wine tastings, and cooking classes, to [email protected].

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