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Corso 98


Rosie
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Had a very nice dinner last night at Corso98 in Montclair with two other couples. I had my favorite appetizer--warm goat cheese with fried roma tomatoes and honey roated garlic and grilled bread, while others had a 1/2 serving of penne puglia (with shrimp, artichoke hearts, peas and sundried tomatoes in light cream sauce); rock shrimp risotto cake over a tomato-garlic cream; and a special roast duck leg over a bed of greens. With the exception of a doggie bag for 1/2 of the pasta (even a half portion is large), we figuratively licked the plates clean! For entrees, several had the grilled or roasted salmon dishes, which they do wonderfully. I had the special risotto, which was with shrimp and asparagus and just wonderful. My husband the adventurer had the special wild boar stew, which was served in a sourdough roll bowl. We didn't have dessert, as we had to head to the meadowlands to watch the Devils lose, but it was an excellent meal. One of the couples had never been there before, and its always fun to take them to a place we really enjoy and see them experience it for the first time--it was a hit!

Casey

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My husband the adventurer had the special wild boar stew, which was served in a sourdough roll bowl.

Your dinner sounds wonderful.

Could you describe the wild boar stew? I hadn't noticed it on the menu before.

thanks

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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I just asked my husband, as I didn't taste it (I don't eat any meat but fish). He said it was a stew lovers dream, and nice and rich. It included the boar, which was excellent meat, small pearl onions, potatoes, and mushrooms. Surrounding the bread bowl was garlic-sauteed broccoli rabe.

The most recent times I've been there, they've featured it on the specials menu.

The last time we (I was eating meat back then) had wild boar was about 7 years ago when we were living in Ithaca, NY--a wonderful little place called Dano's on Cayuga often had it in the form of a chop--so my husband was very excited when he saw it on the menu last night and it lived up to his expectations, as did the duck appetizer.

Casey

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  • 1 month later...

was there last night and my husband finally got the wild boar stew--ever time we go to corso he orders the roast suckling pig, which is very unusual for him because he generally likes to try lots of dishes, but he loves that one so much that he always ends up ordering it. anyway, the stew was incredibly good. our server told us that they take it off the menu during the warmer months, so, if you want to try it, and i highly recommend that you do, better hurry! :smile:

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  • 5 months later...

Visited Corso 98 in Montclair for dinner last week, mainly on the strong recommendations of Rosie. I was very pleased overall with the meal. Certainly a cut above your run of the mill Italian which is so commonplace, particulairly in Essex County. The place is a quaint little BYO on a Montclair sidestreet. The waitstaff while a bit complacent, is also knowledgeable of the menu and full of suggestions. Example - we had to ask for bottled rather than tap water but the server suggested a stuffed zucchini flower as an appetizer as he stated that the dish would not be on the menu much longer. The menu and specials alike are filled with interesting choices. I was in the mood for pasta which is rare for me so I decided on a special bolognese. The dish was perfect - the thick homemade pasta reminded me of the days that my grandparents would make their own by hand on Sunday mornings. The sauce was so flavorfull with fresh tomatoes and mixed meats of veal, pork and beef. Our server was right-on with the appetizer suggestion as well - zucchini flowers stuffed with proscuitto and mozzarella - outstanding. We also had a scallop appetizer which was prepared over a fruit salsa and was also very good. In an area conjested with choices, I would definitely say that this is one that I would look forward to returning.

A.D.S.

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The dish was perfect - the thick homemade pasta reminded me of the days that my grandparents would  make their own by hand on Sunday mornings.

not surprising--the owners are brothers who hail from rome, i think, and their mom makes the pasta herself. i've dined in the kitchen a few times and the first time i did, i ordered the same dish you had. as i took my first bite, she was watching me like a hawk to see what i thought. i don't think she speaks much english, and i don't speak any italian, but it was easy to communicate my delight, which made her beam from ear to ear. and the whole staff calls her "mama" which is very sweet.

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As a bit of history Lowell and I happened onto Corso 98 the first day or maybe one of the first few days they opened. We drove by the restaurant and it looked so charming that we decided to try it. We walked in at 5 PM and they weren't going to open until 5:30. A waiter and Elio gave us the "cooks tour" introducing us to the staff and to "mama." "Mama" gave us a plate of cookies and asked us to return in a half-hour. Who could turn down a request like that?

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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  • 2 months later...

A group of ten gathered at Corso 98 on Saturday night. We started off with bruschetta topped with a diced cooked eggplant, onion, zucchini and tomato mixture and warm crusty bread. Because the group was so big I preordered the appetizers which were served family style. We had fried calamari with two dipping sauces; pan roasted Prince Edward Island mussels with a Pinot Grigio butter sauce, roasted garlic and tomatoes; fried polenta sticks with a garlic laden dipping sauce; a field green salad with grilled figs, honeyed walnuts, and goat cheese; and chitarra with bolognese sauce. All were fabulous.

Entrees, which were also delicious and loved by all included Chef Dino's not to be missed roast suckling pig with broccolini and roasted potatoes; veal osso buco with creamy polenta,.Chilean sea bass; rack of lamb topped with frizzled onions; a wild boar stew studded with onions, potatoes and mushrooms served in a scooped out loaf of bread; and braised short ribs with a butternut squash polenta. A few people managed to order desserts. I bypassed tastes of the hazelnut ice cream; bittersweet mousse cake and the chestnut and chocolate pie. BYO. Phone: 973-746-0789.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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  • 3 months later...

i finally got around to trying this place the other night.

my first impression was that it was much bigger than i expected.

the stuffed zucchini flowers were good, and "fun", if only because you can't seem to get them anywhere else in the area.

i forget what the other app was, although i think i recall it being really really good.

ordered the suckling pig after reading so much about it here. it could feed an army. it's unfortunate that i've made a long-time-cooked pork shoulder twice in the past month. in fact, had i had this dish last year before i first started with the pork shoulder routine, i would have been blown away. as it turns out, i was still very impressed (if not only becaus they offer such a dish). it was really crispy, and nicely seasoned. additionally, i couldn't figure out what parts of the pig it was. there were clearly a few different pieces of animal on that plate, and it was all good.

mrs. tommy had a gnocchi dish. i think it had some sort of smoked cheese in it. it definitely tasted of smoked cheese (i don't like "smoke" usually). it was very good dish. the gnocchi was as light as it should have been. the broth was very tasty. dishes like this tend to become "the same again" after a while, though. i'd be tempted to ask for an app-sized portion in the future.

service was friendly. the room is really sharp. i really liked the place.

Edited by tommy (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...

We can never go wrong at Corso 98, Started off with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. We were in a “forget” Atkins mood and entrees were chitarra Bolognese and chitarra with chicken, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. Also had a side of broccolini. Delicious. No dessert. We were watching our carbs.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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  • 8 months later...

We had a wonderful dinner at Corso 98. Started off with crispy calamari served with marinara sauce and chitarra pasta bolognese which is my favorite. Entrees were veal osso bucco with creamy polenta, wilted spinach, crispy artichokes, and oven roasted tomatoes; Lowell’s “must have” of roasted suckling pig; pan seared duck breast with wild rice, wilted spinach, and malt vinegar sauce; and pan-seared scallops served over salsa salad. The scallops were actually a special appetizer that I asked the kitchen to make as an entrée. We were stuffed and shared a dish of cappuccino crunch ice cream for dessert. Corso 98 is a gem. Try to go on a weekday as they are very busy on weekends; BYO.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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  • 2 months later...

although i've been here many times, corso 98 continues to impress with its delicious food, warm, professional service, and pleasant ambiance. our meal began with a duck salad (from the specials menu) and appetizer portion of gnocchi served with smoked mozzarella cheese, arugula, tomatoes, & garlic. this was the first time i'd tried their gnocchi, and i really enjoyed it. very light and pillow-y.

for entrees, we had the wild boar stew (a favorite dish) and excellent braised short ribs (another special). we left no room for dessert, but the cappuccino was very good. i think it came to somewhere in the $85 range including tip.

i am glad to see that they're maintaining their high standards, and their well-deserved popularity.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dinner at Corso 98, 98 Walnut St, Montclair was scrumptious. Along with crispy calamari served with marinara sauce, chitarra pasta bolognese (my favorite), and exotic mushroom risotto with truffle essence, we had for the first time the stuffed zucchini blossoms. Do try this dish. The flowers are stuffed with a rock shrimp, crab, sundried tomatoes mixture and then deep-fried. Good stuff!

Entrees were roasted suckling pig; fall off the bone veal osso buco with creamy polenta; a generous portion of pecan crusted tilapia with faro and spinach; and braised rabbit over pappardelle.

Of course we didn’t have room for desserts but ordered them anyway! My favorite was the cappuccino crème brulee. The marzipan gelato with chocolate flakes made by Ciao Bella was also great as was momma’s Easter wheat pie.

It’s always a delight to dine here. BYO. Phone: 973-746-0789.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 11 months later...

We haven't yet been to Corso since moving to bloomfield in December; tonight will be the first time. I've read through this thread and I'm encouraged -- we'll see...

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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We had a good experience at Corso 98 on Friday night. Dined around 8:30; the dining room was for the most part full when we arrived. Service was good, and the owner a regular and attentive presence. Please note my question about the risotto below; Id love to hear from others if their experience has been similar.

Appetizers:

Pasta chittara -- on this night it was bolognese -- good, but not at all what I expected from a bolognese sauce. It was far more sauce than meat-driven, and seemed more like a marinara with meat than a traditional bolognese. It also had a bright, tomato-y flavor that I am not used to in this dish. The pasta itself was homemade and very good. Just the same, I doubt I'd order it again with this sauce.

Arugula salad -- Perfectly dressed and accompanied by generous slices of parmesan. A winner.

Calamari -- Good, not great, even keeping in mind that it is difficult for this very pedestrian dish to rise above the ordinary. A very generous portion of thinner than usual calamari battered -- not breaded -- and fried. The batter could have been more highly spiced as the dish lacked a discernible character.

Entrees:

Suckling pig -- Excellent, and I'd order this one again in a heartbeat. One rib accompanied by a large section of falling-apart-tender meat (not sure what part of the pig, sorry) and a generous section of crackling skin.

Wild mushroom risotto -- This one was a puzzle, and I'd like to hear comments from those who may have an opinion here. Though the flavor of the risotto was good -- deep and mushroomy, the dish itself appeared not to be made with arborio rice. Instead, it used regular American-style grains, and what I presume to have been their lack of starch led to its being soupy and poorly textured. The individual grains were also ovecooked and lacked bite. As mentioned, the flavor was good, but I would not order this again.

I have never in my life seen risotto cooked with anything other than "risotto" rice. Am I wrong here?

Edited by JohnnyH (log)

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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