Rumson Italian Restaurant - Red Bank Italian Restaurant


Undici Reviewed by NJ Monthly

Undici Taverna Rustica is proud to announce that it was recently visited by famous New Jersey foodie, Rosie Saferstein. Saferstein is a food writer for New Jersey Monthly magazine, njmonthly.com, and has her own popular column “Table Hopping With Rosie” which features New Jersey restaurant news, food event listings, as well as information about New Jersey chefs. Her well documented dining experience at Undici personifies the vision co-owner, Vic Rallo, area restaurateur and Internet/TV personality, had for his guests when establishing Undici.


UNDICI TAVERNA RUSTICA, RUMSON
May 04, 2011 05:00 AM ET | Rosie Saferstein | Permanent Link

We were transported to a rustic Tuscan farmhouse when we entered Undici (“eleven” in Italian) Taverna Rustica, 11 West River Road, Rumson. We were immediately put into a “let’s eat” mood by the massive rectangular bar filled with diners and drinkers; the large trays of tomatoes and fruits, cheeses, and meats hanging from the bar ceiling; and the fireplace that beckoned us to sit and relax. Wood-beam ceilings, wide-plank wood floors, and stone, brick, and plastered walls added to the ambiance.

Although bread and a bean dip were brought to the table when we were seated, we ordered a Neapolitan-style Margherita pizza to munch on while we looked at the menu and wine list. Baked in a wood-fired oven, the pie, with its perfectly charred, thin, and crispy crust, took the edge off our hunger. The all-Italian wine list is so large that we recommend you check it out online so you don’t spend the whole evening trying to decide what to order. Heads up: on Wednesday nights, a seasonal wine list is available with bottles offered at 50 percent off.

Salumi e formaggi, a platter of dried meats, cheeses, olives, grapes, and almonds, and the addictive fried calamari with a hint of sea salt were wonderful and can both be recommended as starters. Pastas were perfect. A very generous portion of the ravioli of the day, filled with greens and served with a tomato sauce, was impeccable. Another special, a Sicilian dish made with sardines, pine nuts, and raisins over pasta, had a robust flavor, and the house-made mafaldine (ruffled fettuccine) topped with a Bolognese sauce was beautifully cooked and presented. Roasted baby chicken with its crispy skin and juicy meat was devoured by the table. Other entrée options were Berkshire center-cut pork chop, cod with Swiss chard, 21-day dry-aged steak, and, on Sundays only, a “Sunday Sauce” with house-made beef bracciole, Italian sausage, and pork ribs slow cooked in a tomato sauce and served over rigatoni. Vegetarians can create a very impressive plate with the side dishes. Roasted Brussels sprouts and rosemary potatoes, which came with the chicken, were as full of flavor as the protein. After that extensive dinner, only one dessert was shared by four people, a sweet apple Tuscan coffee cake served with cinnamon gelato and fresh cream. For reservations, call 732-842-3880.

Read the review at NJMonthly.com