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NJ Food Guide - August, 2009

Inside This Edition: New Jersey Food Reviews By The Jersey Shadow:  Eccola Italian Bistro In Parsippany, NJ and Panevino in Livingston, NJ

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NJ FOOD GUIDE
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Eccola Italian Bistro - One wouldn't think of a strip mall on Route 46 in Parsippany as a location for a very happening place for the rich, educated or simply those looking for a good meal and drink, but then again it's New Jersey and anything is possible.  I've been wanting to try Eccola for quite some time, and it was simply a meal to remember.  As we all know "a meal to remember" could be a good thing or a horrible thing but meals to remember always stand out.
 
Pulling off a busy Route 46 into the parking lot, I was surprised by a vision of reserved spaces just for customers with an attendant seeing that only patrons park in their spots.  What a classy Jersey extra amenity.  I'm sure this is quite to the liking of regulars, as it's always nice to not have to fight for a spot.

 

Eccola, clearly caters to the more affluent, but all appropriately dressed are welcomed.  On this evening an older gentleman sipped wine at a table while reading the financial pages and another parked his "Jag" and hurried in for dinner in his Polo shirt.  It was a Polo Shirt at least similar to those warn by real Polo players.  At the bar were other business types sipping on fancy drinks.  
 
Looking over the specials on this day there was much to like, but the cold avocado soup caught my eye.  It was delicious, fresh and hearty.  The Veal Ravioli special looked so appealing that I wanted it instantly, and when it arrived I knew I was probably in for something very special if my soup was any indication.  This dish was well designed, perfectly prepared and simply delicious.  The Veal was perfectly cooked, the ravioli was fresh and obviously homemade and the gravy for us in New Jersey or sauce for New Yorkers was delightful complete wish fresh Roma tomatoes.
 
My guest had a shrimp dish topped with fresh mozzarella, artichokes and finished with a light wine sauce.  What a tasty dish!  When we were finished, there wasn't a morsel left on either of our plates. 
 
Eccola is a remarkable place full of highly trained professionals, eager to please and willing to provide a first rate dining experience and I'm delighted to give it a NJ Food Guide Top Rating. - Jersey Shadow - NJ Food Guide Top Rated!
 
Eccola Italian Bistro
1082 Route 46
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Phone: 973-334-8211

 

Panevino Ristorante - in East Hanover, NJ is a somewhat interesting place complete with Bocce court and outdoor garden patio dining.  Inside the restaurant is spacious and unpretentious with a laid back vibe.  My party was looking for a good meal in a relaxing setting, and for the most part that is what we got.
 
It took a bit of time for the server to arrive at our table...  a no no in any restaurant with more help than customers, but it happens and finally we were greeted.  Drink orders were taken and bread arrived with butter and an invitation for some olive oil if desired.  I never turn down olive oil with bread and it was good but would have been way better with some seasoning.  Also, not leaving the olive oil on the table seemed like a cheap maneuver.
 
I'm a Beef Carpaccio fan and it was on the menu, thus soon on my order with a breaded chicken with salad dish.  The Carpaccio was outstanding, very satisfying, a generous portion and included fresh slices of Parmesean cheese which added a great deal.  My Chicken entree, although okay was a little disappointing as the chicken was bland and a little dry.  Fortunately the oil in the accompanying salad helped a bit but to be honest not enough.  It would have been nice if that olive oil bottle seen earlier was on the table to save the day.  My guest had lasagna and was less than impressed noting that it was a bit dry.
 
I'm not a big complainer but my experiences do determine if I return to a place or not.  My experience here was just okay but totally acceptable when off the charts isn't expected.  That Carpaccio may well get me in the door again. - Jersey Shadow -

 

Panevino Ristorante
637 W Mount Pleasant Avenue (Eastbound Route 10)
Livingston, NJ 07039
Phone: 973-535-6160

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