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Il Vicolo Livingston


mikep
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Just returned from Il Vicolo in Livingston and I have to say it was a very good meal.The service was good although the servers could have been friendlier(an occasional smile would have been nice.My wife started with th insalata di casa(which I explained to her was the house salad).It was suprisingly very good.They add an herb,I believe rosemary, to the dressing which gave it a nice subtle bite that struck a good spot in both of us.I started with a raw oysters on the half shell/smoked salmon appetizer that was good but not great.I am thinking of giving up on finding great raw oysters in the area(they just dont exist around here).My daughter,who although being half italian,half filipino still isnt big on flavor,had gnocchi with butter(no sauce).As I tried the first gnocchi,I was shocked at being brought back to mi nonna's basement kitchen just after she put the dumplings into the boiling water.A beautiful mix of semolina and potato.My wife had the veal Benito which was very good.I had a soft shell crab special that was the first dish outside of home that actually had flavor past the shell of the crab.Usually restaurants leave the flavor to the crab which in my opinion has too much of a shell taste.This entree was fantastic.The desserts,flan and a bannana dish which I cant comment on since my 8 1/2 month pregnant wife gobbled up without sharing :smile: seemed to hit the right spot in the wife and kid.At this point the montivideo red that I brought was gone and I was just happy.Happy with the food,happy with my family,hell just happy to be me.If I learned anything at all from E-Gullet its that good wine and a good meal are heaven.Shared with family,there is nothing better.

The only thing I didn't like about Il Vicolo was that the entire place semmed to be filled with senior citizens.Not really a problem,but it seemed like a whole generation,my whole generation,was missing out on a very good dining experience.Maybe the Jet Set crowd was in Millburn,Madison or took the hike to Montclair.Maybe this was a hole in the wall that only the golden oldies and I could enjoy.Thats cool.Just wish more of the "beautiful people" could enjoy small "town" establishments without worrying about name recognition.Oh well,I have said my piece.Maybe a little long winded, but someone had to kill the bottle,and the pregnant wife couldn't do it so I stepped up to the plate.I apologize in advance for the length and coherentness of my ramblings.

Mike

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I have not been to Il Ripasso.Perhaps next weekend.Having moved to Livingston 2 yrs ago,I am just getting around to the restaurants in town.Although my business is in neighboring East Hanover for the last 11 years,in the past I ventured away from the area looking for good meals.Now that I have"settled in"I am trying to find a good local place to enjoy a meal.I thought Il Vicolo was very good and look forward to Ripasso as well.As great a town as Livingston is,l the lack of a true"downtown"hurts its lure.One place that I will not return to is Nero's,a nice place to show off your car,and certainly popular with the more affluent town folk,but for me it was below average across the boards.

Mike(searching for that perfect oyster stop)

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I've lived in Livingston for 11 years now and the food choices here are just pitiful. Nero's has been here since i was a kid (I grew up in Springfield) and I still think its pricey and overated .I have not been to Lulu's yet although my wife had lunch there once and enjoyed it. I have not been encouraged by the posts in this forum however. I also have not been to Il Ripasso yet.

Blue moon Cafe? A notch or 2 above fast food

Feng Shui? Overpriced and just not that good

Landmark Tavern: Great food if you like eating in an ashtray (but the food is great (for a bar) so I grin and bear it sometimes)

Eppes essen: Proof that really good old fashioned delis are few and far between. Take out is bearable though

The biggest joke in town is the Ritz Diner... a gold mine and VERY mediocre food and horrible service. Livingston is just waiting for a smart restauranteur to come in and just steal the business away from the Ritz.

that said Il Vicolo is one of the best restaurants in town. BYO which i love, good portions and reasonably priced. I totally agree though about the large percentage of their clientel who happen to be members of the blue rinse set. I also like stretch's but can only eat there once evry 2 months or so. They use way too much garlic and oil in their cooking and eating there is great going down but brutal afterwards

I'd love to see a great Thai restaurant open here. Bangkock Kitchen in Caldwell is close and OK although they never change the menu and now that I've been to Mie Thai about 5 times I'm spoiled.

maybe Livingston's problem is a lack of downtown. Fumio was open in 2 incarnations and failed twice (though the food was good). Maybe i'm wasting my time complaining. perhaps the younger people here just go to the city when they want a good meal.

PS. Wegmans would just rock in this town (or Millburn or anywhere near here) The whole foods in Madison is pretty good for soem things (Great meat and produce department, good fish and cheese department) but its no Wegmans! Bridgewater is just too much of a schlep.

Happy Father's Day to all.

Jeff

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Was at Il Vicolo a few years ago and it was ok. Not any different than any other Italian restaurant. However, it seems from the latest report (thank-you) that it has gotten better and is worth a return visit.

Il Ripasso --been a few times. It's ok but not anything unusual either.

Lulu's--did not like the food at all.

I like Stretches for a mid-week casual dinner. The place is a dive but I like their food.

Been going to Bella Rosa on Rt 10 in East Hanover for Italian if I want to stay in the area.

Blue moon Cafe and Ritz is fine for lunch.

Feng Shui--Chinese food in the American fashion. I like Hunan Cottage on Rt 46 for Chinese. Ask for the Chinese menu.

Landmark Tavern --Never been. Should I go and what should I order. If it is not non-smoking I'm not going.

Eppes Essen -- Fine for lunch.

Been to Seymour's????---fine for breakfast or lunch but get their before the mom's and the kids.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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A few months ago I told the owner that I thought the food had improved and asked if there was a new chef. He said no, but that the chef was taking some courses and was trying new dishes.

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