Osteria Giotto -
Montclair is an artsy town loaded with places
to eat and even it's own art museum. Midland
Avenue was made famous on The Sopranos when Uncle
Junior ordered the hit on Tony -- It was in
front of a news stand on Midland Avenue where it all
took place. Don't go there looking for the
news stand because it doesn't exist, but what does
is a great place to eat called Osteria Giotto.
Parking is a little
tight in this area, and it's best to call for
reservations. If possible, ask
for a table away from the kitchen... perhaps by the
window. Order the Veal Milanese and you will
probably love it as much as I did. It was
really delicious... plentiful and perfectly cooked
and flavored. I also ordered a Caesar Salad
which was mediocre and some hot peppers and potatoes
which were served in a family style bowl. The
peppers weren't (spicy) hot... perhaps a kitchen
mix-up but a disappointment nonetheless.
I was dining with a big
party this evening and every entree ordered received
raves. Of particular note was a Ravioli
special consisting of spinach, mushrooms and cheese
topped with a flavorful sauce. That dish made
the rounds for everyone to taste. The sauteed
Shrimp in lemon and garlic sauce was outstanding -
the sauce alone was worth the price of the dish.
A variety of veal dishes were ordered and all
were pleased with their choices. Another
special note -- the bread offered was hard to resist
-- Foccaccia and very unusual home-made bread sticks
with a hint of parmesean.
It's been a few weeks
since my visit, and that Veal Milanese
still pleasantly sits with me when I hear the words
Osteria Giotto and I will be back for it for sure. -
Jersey Shadow -
21 Midland Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042
Pilgrim Diner - The
Pilgrim Diner was a childhood favorite of mine and
recently I had the opportunity to stop in for dinner.
These days the place has a warm diner / restaurant
feel and the staff are all attired in their
uniforms... very professional. In front of the
Pilgrim is Pompton Avenue, and busy would never
be an understatement when describing the traffic here
with cars whizzing by against the backdrop of big
skyscraper condos up on the hill across the street.
Okay, the place is different from what I remember, but
not much ever stays the same and change can be a good
If a restaurant puts
pictures in their menus I get turned off immediately
as it is the mark of an amateur, but diners get a pass
because it's somewhat of a tradition.
The picture I want is what lands in front of me when
served and this day it was a Pastrami Reuben
with extra Russian dressing and of course mustard
which arrived in those little annoying squeeze packs.
The upside is freshness with the squeeze packs but
they are irritating and difficult to open.
The Pastrami was lean and
of the highest quality and it was on
Pechters bread. Some perfectly cooked fries and
the meal was delicious. My soda was
in a decent sized glass, not the old diner small one.
My guest made use of the great New Jersey tradition in
a Jersey diner (breakfast anytime) and had
French Toast with bacon. It looked picture
perfect (both meals looked much better than any menu
photo) and my guest was pleased with the perfectly
cooked to order bacon and plentiful portions.
I have fond memories
of the Pilgrim Diner from my childhood of burgers
and milkshakes. It's a delight to say that today
it is awesome and a real Jersey classic capable
of standing up to any reasonable scrutiny. -
Jersey Shadow -
82 Pompton Avenue
Cedar Grove, NJ 07009