Jersey Food

Jersey Spin - March, 2008

Inside This Edition: New Jersey Food - Jersey Shadow Review: Belmont Tavern And Restaurant in Belleville, NJ and Broccolini's Restaurant And Catering in Madison, NJ - 


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Belmont Tavern - Bloomfield Avenue in Belleville, NJ

Feedback is always welcome on all of my reviews.  Drop me an email if you like! - Jersey Shadow - 

New Jersey Restaurant Reviews


Belmont Tavern And Restaurant - The Belmont Tavern in Belleville, NJ, is largely credited as the birthplace of Chicken Savoy and so my arrival on this night was with the intention of ordering this much-talked-about original classic.  Consistency matters as I so often mention, and a small menu leaves room for big diner satisfaction if executed properly.  Why not do a few things to perfection rather than many in mediocrity.
Some perfectly dressed Escarole served family style for my party of 4 was just the ticket to start the meal.  On to some home made Cavatelli and pot cheese again for the table which was awesome.  Other table notables were the clams oreganato made with real whole clams (probably from the Jersey Shore) and Shrimp "Beeps" prepared with a mildly spicy red sauce.  The Scrod entree was raved about by one of my guests.



The star of the show, for me, was the Chicken Savoy which was a half of a
chicken on the bone nicely prepared with some tasty non over-powering
spices and a balsamic vinegar sauce.  The meat was uniquely flavorful. 
The whole meal was raved about by everyone and it was without question
something to experience.  The term "Jersey Boys" gets thrown around these
days as often as a pizza being made, and it's true that the walls of the
Belmont are covered with celebrity portraits and plenty of "Jersey Boys",
but the star of the show here is the great food, atmosphere and rugged
individualism of the place.  You simply won't find a place like this
anywhere, and I'm sure that's just the way they want it.
The Belmont Tavern is a classic example of New Jersey dining at it's
finest ... simple, delicious and memorable.  That great ethnic culture
Born In Jersey around prohibition in places like Belleville and Newark
lives on at the Belmont.  The Belmont isn't for everyone, but if you are
from Essex County in North Jersey you have probably been there many times
and if you want something a little different this place is for you.  The
Belmont is old school all the way, and be sure to visit the local ATM
before arriving as credit cards and reservations aren't accepted. - Jersey
Shadow -
Belmont Tavern And Restaurant
12 Bloomfield Avenue
Belleville, NJ 07109
Phone: 973-759-9609



Broccolini's Restaurant And Catering - I had the recent occasion to try Broccolini's in Madison, NJ.  With the future arrival of the New York Jets this Italian restaurant is going to be almost a stones-throw away from the new facility and a contender for the new diners that are sure to abound here in the coming years.  North Jersey is the home to among other things really great Italian food, usually, and if there is a disappointment, it often times is only slight.  On this night at this new-to-me place I not only felt disappointed but like I wasn't even in New Jersey.
Broccolini's isn't much of a contender and in this fiercely competitive market it might be time for them to draft some new rookies from the collegiate ranks or raid another team for some new talent.  Seemingly once frozen veal cutlets thawed, heated and splashed with some mediocre gravy just doesn't make it with me.  I'm quite sure it probably doesn't make it here with the locals whose palettes are discerning and whose stomachs are usually spoiled by fine Italian cuisine available throughout the area.  To be fair a member of my party did like the fish, but a menu spotty in quality just won't be able to compete around here.  The service, however, was superior, very warm and attentive.
A good healthy dose of new kitchen talent, fresh ingredients, interesting dishes and passionate management could very easily get this team back on the field and ready to compete.  It's 4th and long for Broccolini's... are they going to punt or go for it! - Jersey Shadow -
Broccolini's Restaurant And Catering
91 Park Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940
Phone: 973-408-9148



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