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Jersey Spin - February, 2011

NJ Food Reviews - Amici's in Madison, NJ And The Original Michael Angelo's in North Arlington, NJ


 

 

Amici's - Amici's is a little Italian restaurant / take-out place in Madison, New Jersey, near the New York Jets training facility. On the evening of our visit, the dining room was cozy and quiet and was virtually empty except for two other tables, but it was Monday and only 5pm or so.



The complimentary bread, seasoned olive oil for dipping and cold bite sized pieces of cheese were very tasty.  Seemed a bit odd that there was no butter for the bread, just the oil, but that was fine with me.

I went with the Chicken Portabello at a steep $18.95, especially considering that it didn't include a salad.  What arrived was a heaping portion of chicken and it was tender, but sadly even with the mushrooms, not very flavorful.  Still the dish was very fresh, but it sure could have benefited from more flavor and an enhanced recipe.  For a steep $18.95 I would have been most satisfied with a dish half it's size with more flavor and an inclusive salad starter.  My dining partner ordered the Chicken Francaise, which was said to be good, but not something to rave about.

I'm afraid Amici's is going to have to do a better job with menu selection, recipe enhancements and pricing if they want to be competitive in this economy.  Still there is something very appealing and charming about this place, and the service could not have been any friendlier or efficient.  I'm rooting for Amici's to fine-tune their offerings for greater success in the future. - Jersey Shadow -

Amici's
90 Park Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940
973-360-9100

All Major Credit Cards Accepted - BYOB 

 

The Original Michael Angelo's - There is nothing like old-school New Jersey, Italian dining, and I was sorry to see Michael Angelo's leave North Newark, but delighted to see it re-emerge in North Arlington. This part of New Jersey offers some of the best Italian dining in the United States, and Michael Angelo's has made and continues to make a significant contribution to that legacy.

Of special note, at Michael Angelo's is the size and scope of their menu with dishes, portions and prices for everyone. Having grown up in the area, I was eager to return to this part of New Jersey and Michael Angelo's sought-after Giambotta's. It all looked so good, and they were delighted to make me a chicken and hot sausage Giambotta with hot peppers.

I started off with a Caesar Salad which was exceptionally good and massive... so massive that I split it with my guest with plenty to spare. The salad came with fresh pieces of cheese and seasoned croutons. The sodas were big and nice and cold with plenty of ice.

My entree was massive with heaping amounts of chicken, sausage, peppers and of course potatoes which were sliced thin and crispy just the way they should be. The taste was old-school delicious, very filling and very satisfying. As much as I wanted to eat every bite there was just no way, but it surely came home with me and every bit was thoroughly enjoyed. My guest had the ravioli which was remarked as delicious and homemade, with such a large portion that the remaining ravioli also found its way into a take-home container.

Michael Angelo's is definitely among one of the best restaurants of its kind in New Jersey, and yes, they are open for lunch. The parking is not the best, but it's better than it was at the old location and hardly an inconvenience when one considers what a great meal he or she is about to have at the original Michael Angelo's. I can promise you that it will be memorable, and no question that it is a NJ Food Guide top pick. - Jersey Shadow -

The Original Michael Angelo's
440 Ridge Road
North Arlington, NJ 07031
201-997-6477

All Major Credit Cards Accepted - BYOB 

 

 


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