I need to apologize. I haven't been blogging. And I've definitely been cooking and dining out, so I have no excuse!
Since my last post, I've been to a few restaurants in Montclair, so I'm going to do a quick assessment of each. They weren't bad experiences, but they also weren't as unreal as Culinariane, so I don't think they need their own blog post.
Tosca - Tosca is a new restaurant in Montclair, on Church St. It's next to the movie theater, so it's a great option for dinner and a movie. Dinner here was very nice. I think they're still a work in progress and learning to handle the Montclair weekend rush. I had a linguine puttanesca. The sauce was delicious - one of the better one's that I've had. And my stepdad, an Italian food connoisseur, agreed. The problem was the linguine. It was very al dente. Everyone at the table had mixed experiences as well. I think they're still working on their pasta dishes, but I wouldn't rule this place out. It has serious potential! I've heard great things about their pizzas, so that's what I'll be ordering next time.
Trattoria Rustica - As far as I know, Rustica has been on Bloomfield Ave. for quite some time, but somehow I haven't been. The restaurant is very simple inside, a little rustic decor, and when I went, it was virtually empty. Granted, it was a weeknight and about 6pm (Yes, I was striving for an early bird special). For dinner, again, I had puttanesca sauce. This time I asked for it with whole wheat penne. Pathetic, I know, but I'm trying to watch the waistline. The food was good. The service was good. The price was good. Overall, just good. Would I go back? I'm not sure. With all of the other options in the area, I can't see it happening. But they did give me a $10 off coupon for next time, so that may help. Maybe I should apply for Extreme Couponing.
Gencarelli's - My aunt has been begging me to try Gencarelli's for a while, but somehow it never happened. I recently bought a gift certificate on Groupon [$20 for $40 worth of food] and it expires in May. So, I finally went. I was pleasantly surprised. The decor was very nice and the service was phenomenal. Our waitress couldn't have been any sweeter and one of the owners came by to check on us. That might have been because my aunt is a regular, but I'll still give them the credit. We shared a tapenade crostini for an appetizer which was delicious. For dinner, I had eggplant/zucchini parmesan. It came with a side of pasta. The sauce was a little tart and when I brought home a doggy bag for Pete, he agreed. But, the eggplant/zucchini was really tasty! I loved the combination, which I've never had. I think I'd go back to Gencarelli's. My one thought is that it's overpriced. It's in the same price range as Osteria Giotto (my favorite), and to be honest, it's just not there.
So, that's what I've been up to lately. I've been cooking a lot too, but I'll save that for another posting. Happy Thursday!