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Anthony A

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  1. Scott, The pizza basically stinks in Morris County. But if you want to stay within the county confines, the Reservoir Tavern in Boonton serves a respectable Pizza. Although I am not as high on it as some other folks are. Note that they do not serve slices though. I live in Morris County and I too am vexed by the fact that I can't find a decent slice of Pie. I travel east as well to take care of my "Pizza Jones". Good luck in your quest for good pizza.
  2. I have critcisms of Veloce, but I did not find the crust to be heavy or dense. I had problems with the pizza, because I found the crust to be a little limp and soggy on the Margherita slices, which kind of nullified the even char that they had on the bottom. I liked the carmelized cheese at the edges and at the crust, but overall the tomato sauce was a little lost on the pie and did not have a bright acidic flavor that I expected. Overall, it was a tasty slice that warrants a visit if you are in the neighborhood, but I do not feel it belongs on the "best in city" lists that have been circulating as of late. I kind of feel that some of the great ratings are based on the fact that since all the critics like Sara Jenkins and her roast pork sandwiches, and her track record with other ventures, that they have got to give her some extra love on the pizza.
  3. They are serving the Pork and Foie Gras terrine w/ the same condiments for lunch as well ($14.00). Absolutely delicious.
  4. La Sicilia on Washington Ave and Belleville. I know I talked this place up on another thread, but the place has many solid dishes in the $10.00 and under category. Only the mighty Veal Braciole ($11.00), which is off the menu, and some pizzas break the $10.00 barrier. I think the place is caught up in a late 70's early 80's time warp. God Bless Guiseppe and his family for breathing life into the old "Italian American Red Sauce" style of cooking.
  5. I will cast my lot with La Sicilia. Although I think their Palermo pie is overated. They make a really nice tomato sauce which they put on just about everything. The veal braciole is a can't miss and it is the most expensive item in the joint at $11.00, I have also enjoyed the tripe and fusilli. Also, I think the owner Giuseppe and his wife are very nice people and the atmosphere is almost like you are guests at their home for lunch and dinner. However, do not expect 4 star service. Many days it is just the Mr and Mrs. running food from the kitchen and trying to run the register at the same time for take out. Therefore, once your meal makes it to the table, you probably are not going to see any service until you decide to go to the register and get the check yourself. But I kind of think that is half the charm of the place.
  6. Just your typical North Jersey "red sauce joint" nothing to rave about. You would probably be better served by a trip into Montclair and hitting Osteria Del Giotto (on Midland Ave just off Bloomfield Ave.). They prepare good staright ahead Italian food that uses high quality seasonal ingredients when possible and treats them with respect. The last time I checked the prices weren't all that exorbitant either and would only be paying slightly more and avoiding mediocrity. However, if you are truly in the mood for a place that works in the Italian-American Red Sauce genre I hear that La Sicilia on Belleville Ave. is creating some buzz. I have never been there, so I cannot vouch for the reports directly.
  7. Anthony A


    I stopped by for lunch today and had the Shrimp in a stew of tomatoes, peppers and feta cheese (Garides Santorini) along with a side order of lemon potatoes. I found the stew and the shrimp to be underseasoned, but thought the feta that they used was top notch even though it failed to rescue the dish from the ranks of mediocrity. However, the lemon potatoes absolutely rocked! Given the excitement that this place has generated on the boards I would like to return again in a group, so I can sample a larger cross-section of the menu. There were many appetizers that looked tempting, but time didn't lend itself to sampling such a large offering.
  8. Eric, I wish you much success in your future endeavors. I enjoyed the Hot Dogs at the Verona location and thought that some of the toppings you and Matt prepared were the most original I had ever seen. I always thought that if you were located on an area of Bloomfield Ave. with more foot traffic that you would do more business, but your tireless efforts in promoting the enterprise helped sustain interest for a long time. Please keep everyone apprised of new projects, I will do my best to come out and support the effort should you decide to open another restaurant.
  9. 77 Walnut St. Montclair. It is close to the corner of Grove St. and not too far from the train station.
  10. Anthony A


    I made it over to Crave for lunch this afternoon. I was kind of despondent to find that the monkfish dish was not on the lunch menu, but I was told that this might be rectified in the future once the restaurant is out of it's infancy stages. Anyway, I had the grilled Hanger Steak with the Asian Noodle salad, so it is never a total loss when you have the opportunity to order Hanger.
  11. Let's be fair. Blu gets an excellent rating by the NY Times, which is supposed to be the NJ equivalent of 4 stars in NY, and we are not supposed to have a certain expectation level for his other projects? Speaking for myself, I never expected to "swoon" or be blown away at Next Door, but I do expect execution and quality no matter the price point or style of fare. Next Door's execution was by no means poor the day I tried it, but it didn't even approach flawless. Call Arafai a victim of his own success. He set a standard of excellence at Blu, now people expect him to deliver all the time no matter the theme of the restaurant. He is a big boy and should welcome the challenge. Like you, other people feel differently about the restaurant and I am happy their experience met or exceeded expectation. I would never deny them the right to be effusive in their praise as long as they acknowledge my right to be critical.
  12. I respect your knoweldge and opinions. I just feel that Ko is a slightly different animal and that Chang is correct in addressing this opening in a manner that differs from the other brands that you refer to above. As for the Ardour to Louis XV scenario, I would be pretty amazed if my status as a regular at Ardour conferred VIP treatment at Louis XV, but by the same token I would not be angry in the slightest If I had to work a little to land the reservation at Louis XV given the 2 places have totally different missions. But if you say that is standard policy I will not argue. Thanks
  13. Sorry, but that's a little silly. Who do you think was filling the "Friends & Family" seats? Why, Noodle & Ssam Bar regulars, that's who.Want to find the Ko website? You get there from the same place as the other two establishments: momofuku.com. But in any case, the comment is red herring. Even if Ko were entirely separate, FG's comment would remain valid, because he is describing what all ultimately successful restaurants do. Even those that are truly new eventually find ways to attract and cultivate their regulars. Maybe Ko will break that paradigm...and maybe not. ← Silly eh! So you feel that there is no distinction that should be made between a soft opening which are private affairs by nature and serve as an aid to a restaurant in working out it's kinks and a hard opening to the public at large? Now who is being silly? If Chang wanted to extend a special courtesy to Momofuku diehards that is great. It doesn't mean that those folks have to move to the head of the line for a hard opening if he doesn't see fit. Given the limited number of seats it is pretty easy to see how this place can evolve into a defacto supper club, and if that were indeed his vision for this restaurant it would be perfectly fine with me, but evidently he has another "paradigm" in mind, and if the interest with disgruntled Momo regulars collide with his own vision, he needs to ignore the din of the crowd in this instance and pursue his objectives until it it is deemed a failure. Then he can reassess at a later time if need be, just like he did with Ssam Bar and Noodle Bar. Also, thanks for letting me know where the Ko website is.. I would have never have thought to look there!
  14. Here lies the bone of our contention, Ko is an entirely separate entity and does not have regulars. Just because Ssam Bar or Noodle Bar is your regular haunt it doesn't mean special reservation perks carry over to a new venture. I understand the disappointment with Momo regulars at not being able to procure a reservation immediately, I just do not understand the "ire" that you say is reportedly felt on the part of some folks. If a Ssam bar regular somehow loses some of the privileges that was bestowed upon him in the past upon his next dinner visit, then by all means he has a right to be pissed and should give Chang the business the next time he sees him. But until Chang decides to sell VIP membership across the Momofuku chain that same person should pipe down use their rage for more productive endeavors. They will eventually get their chance like the rest of us.
  15. Fat Guy: I agree that regulars should be given preferential treatment and perks at their favorite restaurant. I am just not so sure that these privileges should extend across a Chef's entire stable of eateries. Momofuku Ko is unique in that it is a small 14 seat establishment and from my point of view there is a danger of turning this into another Rao's if only Momofuku chain regulars and VIP'S are given premier access to the reservation process. Regulars are important to the lifeblood of restaurants, but they are not investors, and their buying power and influence should end at the point when their demands interfere with the mission or vision with the Proprietors. Chang may have gotten into a business where providing high levels of service are paramount, but he also went into business, because like many entreprenuers he doesn't like somebody else telling him what to do. Which in a round about way is what the irate "regulars" are attempting by engaging in their tantrum because they cannot manipulate the booking process at a new restaurant.
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