Delicious & A Pleasure: Corso98

We had the absolute pleasure of enjoying a meal at Corso 98, the sister restaurant to one of our favorite bakeries in Montclair, Cucina 98. We’re not surprised it was so unbelievably good, anything attached to the Cucina is destined to be delicious. We love how we got to end our dinner with one of our favorite desserts ever: their Lavendar Brownie. Omg.¬†

 

We are so happy that Corso 98 finally reopened after being closed throughout Covid-19 in Montclair. Beverly is the new chef working with the Suriano family. The new menu is similar to the traditional dishes that made up the old but with a little umami flare added here and there ūüôā

 

Note that all dishes can be made vegan if needed ūüôā

 

We have a lot to munch through, so come along and enjoy a 10/10 meal with us. 

 

Appetizers:

 

We started with the beet salad, pea & ham arancini, and the caramelized onion & pignoli ricotta. 
Beet salad: roasted beets, white romesco, beet chips, toasted almonds, ricotta salata, and microgreens
Pea & Ham Arancini: english peas, prociutto and fontina 
Whipped Ricotta: caramelized onion jam, toasted pignoli, and grilled raisin fennel semolina bread

 

Foodie thoughts:
First of all, the answer to whipped ricotta is always YES. Add in Pignoli and caramelized onions? Even bigger yes. This starter is a must! (You won’t see this plate in the appetizer section though, it is in the “sides” section on their menu.
One of the reasons why we love arancini so much is because every place has its own special recipe. We love this dish because it wasn’t greasy, it has a perfect bite, and even though peas can be a bit bland & boring, in this dish they were crucial and elevated the flavor combination. We love it.
We’re not like many: but we’re obsessed with beets. When a restaurant treats this vegetable as a delicacy and finds innovative ways to enhance its unique flavor & texture, we admire it so much.
If we had enough room in our stomachs we would’ve ordered the arugula salad, artichoke hearts, and warm fresh mozzarella!
Let’s move on to the entrees!

Entrees:


 

Porcini Pappardelle: wild mushrooms, black garlic, miso and pancetta (right)

 

Bell & Evans Pan-seared Chicken: cauliflower puree, sun-dried tomatoes, romanesco cauliflower (left)

 

Foodie Thoughts:
Seriously pappardelle is one of the superior pasta shapes! And don’t get us started when it’s HOME-MADE pappardelle… we’re in heaven. Then if you mix in specifically porcini (just like pasta shape, mushroom type is very important) we are happy foodies! Talk about a perfect dish! We love a fresh plate of light pasta. Yum.
And this chicken dish! The cauliflower puree (with more cauliflower on top) might deter some away, but let us tell you it’s less about the vegetable and more about the flavor and texture when you eat it with this crispy chicken. We love that there were two kinds of meat: breast & high, and the extra elements of this dish were absolutely necessary and nothing overwhelming.
Next time we absolutely want to try the Fava bean & Mint Ravioli Cacio e Pepe (I mean come on, just the sound of that…) and we’re interested in their scallops, filet and eggplant piccata.
Sides:

 

Meatballs & Grilled Asparagus with Calabrian chili and gochujang 

 

Foodie Thoughts: 
We can’t cook asparagus to save our lives, so we really appreciate a good asparagus side. The Calabrian chili is a fun & unique addition. The meatballs were perfect! The sauce, the taste of the meats, the cheese… we couldn’t ask for anymore more!

Desserts:

 

Vegan Lavender Brownie with a dark chocolate drizzle and vegan vanilla ice cream on top

 

Foodie Thoughts:
We need to take a moment… because we get overwhelmed by how much we love this brownie. Not because it’s vegan or whatever, but because it is hands down one of the best brownies we have EVER had. We genuinely keep 2 in our fridge at all times. The dark chocolate drizzle gives the brownie a bit of a bite, the crust is ideal and the inside is perfectly fudge-y with hints of the lavender flavor. It really is so good, you HAVE to try it!

And that’s it! An absolutely perfect and extremely enjoyable dinner at Corso98. We truly recommend this place for dinner, you will enjoy yourself and eat some of the best food in Montclair. The ambiance is perfect for a double-date, a night out with friends or a family dinner. Bring a bottle of wine and enjoy your time.
If you liked this blog post, please share with someone you want to go to Corso 98 with, and thank you for your constant support!

May Foodie Holidays: #MimosaDay & MDW

May is agreeably the best month to come throughout the year, don’t you think?

 

Flowers, the sun, warmth… we go on walks with our friends and enjoy one of our favorite things: OUTDOOR SEATING. In May, we also celebrate “National Mimosa Day” (May 16th) and Memorial Day Weekend (May 31st)

 

In this blog post, we will show you the best ways to enjoy May with Mimosas & celebrate MDW in Montclair!
Mimosa Brunch in Montclair, NJ:

 

Le Salbuen: Fresh squeezed orange juice plus your favorite champagne, add in your favorite brunch dish from this “always delicious” spot and that equals a perfect way to celebrate Mimosa Day! We love Le Salbuen, we always recommend people to go here and enjoy themselves ūüôā

Faubourg: Of course, this French spot serves mimosas, how could it not?! Every single cocktail drink in their menu is perfect, and we often have hard times deciding which one to order… but not today! We know what we’re ordering this time. Best news is that on Sundays your brunch entree includes one free drink.

Halycon Brasserie: This place has mimosas right at the top of their brunch menu! Right where you can see them because they know what you came here for ūüėČ Halycon specializes in seafood, and you won’t be disappointed with the delicious flavor combos that are revealed to you between every bite and sip. Yum!

Sweet Kitchen: Another byoc (bring your own champagne) spot where all you have to do is ask for some O.J. and you’re all set! Sweet Kitchen presses their orange juice every morning so if you have a great bottle of champagne, you know this drink is about to be BOMB!

Toast: Pancakes and mimosas… say no more. It’s the perfect combo! Bring your bottle of champagne, order an orange juice, mix and enjoy.

Sayola: An¬†elegant, post-modern Spanish Restaurant is a treat! So get a little dressed up, bring your champagne, order fresh-pressed O.J. from Le Salbuen, Sweet Kitchen, Jackie’s, or Green Point Juicery (Verona), and enjoy yourself!

If you’re wondering where to eat for MDW in Montclair? Here is your list:

1. Red Eye Cafe: Guys, we loveee this place! Pancakes are always perfect, they have great daily specials and, of course, great coffee. We think a morning-breakfast date over Memorial Day Weekend at Red Eye Cafe is a lovely way to start your day.

photo credit: @sellaeatz

2. Samba: Because MDW is often times spent with family, we’re suggesting Samba because they can cater bigger parties, and it is easier than other restaurants to get larger seatings here. And of course, the food is delicious. If you are Gluten-Free, Samba is also a great option for you as they are the only officially certified GF restaurant in NJ. If you are not gluten-free, don’t worry about the food tasting any different. Take the perspective that Gluten-Free means your food is as clean, unprocessed, and not filled with useless/unnecessary ingredients as possible! We really love Samba so much!

3. Stuffed Grassfed Burgers: What’s a Memorial Day Weekend without a burger? Hmm… probably not the best one. This weekend CALLS for some delicious meat! We loved Stuffed because it is customizable to whatever your heart desires. They also have veggie burgers and milkshakes (dairy and dairy-free) so it’s a one-stop shop for everyone. Don’t forget the fries!!

*Pictured: Two custom-order burgers (both enjoyed bacon, clearly)

4. Raymond’s: Located on Church Street, we love the energy and ambiance of this place! Filling meals that are always great when shared with a friend, Raymond’s is always a solid choice!

photo credit: @repoleanna

5. Jackie’s Grillette: The perfect lunch spot! Grab a juice or a drink, order a big sandwich or a mezze platter. Always consistently delicious & family-owned, Montclair Foodie absolutely loves Jackie’s! Our favorite sandwich from here is the Jackie’s Special: Roast Beef, Swiss, bacon, coleslaw, Russian dressing on a long roll (same kind of bread/roll as the photo below). It just hits the spot everytime. We genuiely crave and enjoy this sandwich.

*Pictured: The ‚ÄėBig Bang‚Äô‚ÄĒ BBQ chicken, bacon & melted mozzarella

¬†6. Mr. Dino’s: Pizza is 100% part of the MDW menu. There are many pizzerias in Montclair, but we have a special place in our pizza heart for this one. Mr. Dino’s has been family-owned & serving the Montclair community for over 40 years.

 

Montclair! If you love eating along with us, share this article on your socials. Feel free to message us on Instagram to talk about your favorite Montclair spot.

Thank you for the continued support!

 

A visit to La Rocca Osteria

La Rocca Osteria sits in a naturally light, french door wrapped location on Midland Ave. This Italian restaurant is the result of a 25 year journey by the owners, Robert and Caroline; this place is truly special to Montclair. 

Chef Robert Pantusa made his mark in our special town a few years ago with his beloved restaurant Giotto. Now, the simplistic flavors, generational recipes, traditional techniques and highest quality ingredients of his past restaurant followed him to La Rocca and we dine here at least once a month. It is one of our favorites!

La Rocca makes all of their pastas in house, and you can really taste it! Also their bread, sauces, and every single dish on the menu is guaranteed to be made with special care and detail by Chef Robert. This is a restaurant that is simply delicious; we don’t need any other adjectives to describe it, it’s just PERFECT! 

The restaurant truly believes that their home is yours. Please dine with them, enjoy the sweet and welcoming hospitality,  and leave with a piece of Italy inside of you. 

We enjoyed a 6 course meal at La Rocca Osteria and every single dish was better than the next. Continue to read along as we eat through a divine 6 course meal at La Rocca; all dishes are detailed below. Buon appetito! 

We started with the simple and delicious sweet garden pea soup. This first course was entirely vegetarian, just made with the peas, a vegetable broth with a drizzle of balsamic and toasted pumpkin seeds. Excluding the lobster Bisque on the menu, there is no cream in any of the soups at La Rocca.

We love starting our meal with a light soup. Next course!

Next we enjoyed the crab cake served over greens. The crust is seasoned nicely and kept all the warmth and flavor of the crab inside perfectly intact. Even though it is fried on the outside, this crab cake isn’t greasy or oily. In fact, it was perfect. The cake has a generous amount of lump, plump fresh crab. Delicious! 

Now time for the entrees…

The Spaghetti alla Chitarra is every seafood lover’s dream. When you mix hand made pasta with fresh seafood and a delicious sauce, it‚Äôs a 10/10. It is really so important for seafood to be FRESH otherwise the entire dish will taste ‚Äúoff.‚ÄĚ But La Rocca is spot on!

It was at this point we started to understand that the sauces at La Rocca is what gives every single dish on their menu a 5 star rating. The sauce of a dish coats all the elements and turns pieces of seafood and pasta (in this case) into a cohesive and perfectly executed meal. Wait till we tell you about the sauce on the lasagna… 

The Spaghetti alla Chitarra is served with clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops calamari and a tomato sauce. So good!

If seafood pasta isn‚Äôt your favorite, you should definitely go for the lasagna! There aren‚Äôt too many ingredients, just the fresh pasta, 3 ground meats, cheese and, again, one of their absolutely delicious sauces that had us saying ‚Äúoh my, this SAUCE!‚ÄĚ about 10 times while enjoying this dish. This sauce has some texture to it, it‚Äôs not just a liquid as you can see from the pictures. This tomato sauce was a bit ‚Äútangey‚ÄĚ and the texture of the pasta with the meats layered inside might have us claim this as the best lasagna ever.¬†

Now for some meat! The Sella di Agnello in Crosta (Rack of lamb, herbed bread crumb, garlic, rosemary) was so unbelievably delicious. Everything you need from a meat dish was here: perfectly cooked and seasoned, falling right off the bone, paired with another sauce that brought the entire dish together, and then complemented by some vegetables.  Chef Roberto is truly a brilliant chef and everything that comes out of the La Rocca kitchen is better than the next, we can’t explain it any other way!

Lastly dessert! Oh my there is so much YUM to choose from at La Rocca when it comes to desserts. We went with this fruity deliciousness that came with cannoli ice cream on top. Truly just a perfect ending to our meal, and once again we were delighted by the flavors and execution of the plate.

We always pay attention to how we feel after we leave a restaurant, as in if the food sits right inside of us, or if we feel extremely full, etc. What we love about our meal at La Rocca is that even though we ate A LOT, we didn’t feel slumped on the couch or overwhelmingly full. We felt GREAT and satisfied, which lets us know that the food quality is top notch and there is obvious love and care that goes into all of the dishes here. 

Like many Montclairians, La Rocca is one of our favorites in town. They are located at 21 Midland Ave. Book a table and prepare yourself for a lovely dinner. 

We cannot recommend La Rocca enough! Montclair, do you love this place as much as us?! Leave a comment below and let’s talk about how much we appreciate this place and Chef Robert together!

Valentine’s Day in Montclair

It’s that time again Montclair, reservations are being called in as we speak, even though it feels like we were just celebrating NYE! The ball dropped, we blinked, next thing you know the Eagles won the Super Bowl and it’s Valentine’s Day Montclair! We figured we’d help you out with¬†the 411 on some of¬†our current favorite spots in and around town that are doing a little something special for this Valentine’s Day! If you haven’t already¬†made your reservations, hurry up!

Pig & Prince
For starter’s being the loving man that he is, Chef Mike Carrino decided to launch his new Winter menu just this last Tuesday putting¬†Pig & Prince¬†high on our list of must haves asap! If you’ve dined at Pig & Prince before you know Chef does not skimp and is not afraid to push the envelope (or plate in his case!) This new winter menu will be an experience for sure with new menu items that include Ostrich and Monkfish, you can’t go wrong!

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Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas
Equally romantic (especially if you can snag a booth for 2) & bonus, they’ve got an extensive wine list;¬†Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas (70 Kingsland Road, Clifton) will offer a¬†5-Course Prix Fixe menu¬†from February 9 through February 17. Enjoy a tasting menu with optional wine pairing. Reservations can be made online or at 973.661.2435. If you end up here PLEASE don’t skip dessert!! Ciambelle (extra nutella for dipping please!) and Cinnamon Spice Cake!!

Plum on Park
We also LOVE the new relaxed romantic vibe at Plum on Park (which reopened this past Friday, February 2nd after a renovation and is looking AMAZING). Plum will offer a 3-course prix fixe menu (the entire week of Valentine’s Day for dinner) in addition to their regular menu.

Screenshot_20180208-111545_2

Fresco da Franco
Then of course there is¬†Fresco da Franco (15 Church Street, Montclair) will offer¬†dinner with live jazz entertainment with a limited a la carte menu which we of course are hoping includes Mama’s meatballs.¬†Reservations can be made through Opentable or at 347.974.2420.

Turtle and The Wolf
Turtle and The Wolf won’t feature a prix fixe menu but please trust us when we tell you EVERYTHING on their menu is special and so worth it! And you can be sure Chef Lauren will have a few tricks up his sleeves as he always does and NEVER disappoints.

The intimate sizes of most of these restaurants paired with the amazing food and service is truly what we love the most! But please don’t forget the wine!! Remember¬†most of the above are BYOB but don’t fret, impress your date by giving¬†AmantiVino¬†a call and having wine delivered straight to your dinner table! Let’s just all be happy Vday falls on a Wednesday so MAYBE we’ll actually be able to get a table somewhere this Vday! #FoodiestrugglesonValentinesDay

Already have plans for Valentine’s Day in Montclair? Tell us your favorite romantic place to dine in and around town! Don’t forget to tell them #MontclairFoodieSentMe when making your reservations! @MontclairFoodie You never know Valentine’s Day Dinner might just be on us ūüėČ

Plum on Park Come for the Plum, Stay for the Specials

 

Plum on Park
Montclair Foodie @ Plum on Park

If you’ve gone through our Instagram feed at any point then its a not so secret fact that we are obsessed with Plum on Park in Montclair, NJ. And what we love (and sometimes hate, keep reading you’ll understand why) most about Plum¬†are the SPECIALS!!!!! Let’s make one thing clear upfront, the actual menu is equally amazing and never disappoints. Now that that’s out of the way! We just can’t get enough of the owner,¬†Natalie Colledge’s infinite source of creativity and her beautifully presented plates that come out of this kitchen (That change weekly by the way). So you go to¬†Plum on Park Come for the Plum, but you stay for the Specials (or in our case keep coming back weekly lol) !

We’ve literally found ourselves racing out of Bar Method class (also amazing! if you haven’t tried a class GO! Natalie and Gina are my favorites shh!) 100 steps away while scrolling the gram on Saturday mornings to see what specials we’ll be delighted with that weekend!

French Toast, Pad Thai, Moroccan Scramble, there are so many to name and we haven’t even tried them all!!! And since starting to offer dinner in 2015, they also have Dinner specials they debut on Wednesday’s. I don’t know how many places in a small town like Montclair, NJ you know change specials so often and keep things interesting like Plum does but needless to say, we’re kind of addicted!

Fun fact about Plum, whether your visiting Montclair for the first time, or a long time resident, you may or may not know (but want to know) that as we’ve said before many restaurants close on Mondays to prep, etc. Well lovely Plum on Park is one of a few that are open on Mondays for Breakfast & Lunch!!! They are closed on Tuesdays but open for breakfast, lunch, & dinner the rest of the week!

Enough reading GO to Plum on Park and if you meet Rebecca or Barbara tell them #MontclairFoodieSentMe!

 

Dining at Samba Montclair

We recently had another amazing dining experience¬†at Samba Montclair and we had to share! Samba is located in the middle of Montclair Center right off the intersection of Bloomfield Ave and Park Street and was busier than usual for a Monday night, according to the host, probably because as the days get warmer and longer, more people dine out more often. Unfortunately, not ALL restaurants are open in Montclair,NJ on Monday nights, although more and more are starting to post Summer Hours (are you as excited about that as we are)! In fact We wouldn’t be surprised if as many as¬†half of your favorite restaurants in Montclair are closed on Mondays… but that’s a separate conversation for another post, clearly we LOVE summer hours! ūüėČ

Samba Montclair NJ
Samba Montclair NJ

Samba’s ambiance is as delicious as their Brazilian National dish stewed for 24 hrs. Beautiful soft Brazilian music played softly in the background pairing wonderfully with the authentic cuisine.

We had their Salgadinhos sortidos (little pastries filled with chicken, beef,  or cheese) and Frango à passarinho (tiny organic chicken cuts on the bone) to start. Followed by the Picanha ao alho (Brazillian cut Top Sirloin Steak served with puréed plantains and vegetables pictured below) and the Feijoada (national dish) we mentioned before.

Samba Montclair National Dish
Samba Montclair National Dish
Samba Montclair
Chicken on the Bone @ Samba Montclair
Samba Montclair Dinner
Samba Montclair Dinner

Portion sizes at Samba Montclair are amazingly filling and since it was only Monday night, we decided to pace ourselves and skip dessert… but we wont next time! Can’t wait to go back!!!

Buen Provecho

-MF

We want that Cake Cake Cakeaholic Obsession!!!!

Cake, cake, cake, cake, with so many yummy places to grab sweet treats in Montclair, NJ you can never run out of options!! Montclair Bread Co for your donuts, Plum Bakery for the¬†gluten free lovers, Little Daisy Bakeshop, KakesKimmy, Applegate Farm, Gelotti, the list goes on and on!! But another one of our personal FAVE discoveries at this years Taste of Montclair… Cakeaholic Obsession!!!

Cake Cake Cake Cakeaholic Obsession
Cakeaholic Obsession

 

So what did we have you ask? Cookies and cream (with an actual cookie at the bottom of the cupcake!), Vanilla Birthday Cake, Chocolate Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, Chunky Monkey, and last but most certainly not least, Banana de leche. Banana de Leche was their flavor at Taste of Montclair although not currently on the menu of selections (although we think it needs to be!) It is hands down our favorite! So we have all these flavored cupcakes and then, we notice the ice cream.

Cake Cake Cake Cakeaholic Obsession
Cakeaholic Obsession

Cakeaholic has homemade ice cream delivered weekly from Upstate New York. They even have custom flavors coming soon such as Lemon Berry, Banana Pudding (#MotherMayI?!?!?!), and Pink Velvet. What did we try? Cinnamon Brown Sugar… thats right I said CINNAMON BROWN SUGAR!!!! Take a drive to the southside of Montclair and allow yourself to… indulge (we did)!!! Veer off of Bloomfield Avenue and find your way to 324 Orange Road in Montclair NJ.

An already award winning bakery, Cakeaholics was just nominated for best bakery in Best of Essex 2016! Cakeaholic not only offers amazing cupcakes and homemade ice cream, they do events to!! Date nights, Girls nights, baking classes for the kids, and more! If you havent already tried Julie’s cupcakes, what are you waiting for??? Ask for the Banana de Leche and thank us later!

Cakeaholics has since closed their location in South Montclair. But are working on a new space coming soon and you can still order yummy cupcakes and treats online!!!

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p.s. word on the street is Cakeaholics Obsession will be at this years Montclair Food and Wine BBQ on July 9th if you are planning on attending be sure to stopby their table and tell them MontclairFoodieSentMe!

-MF

Dinner at Turtle and The Wolf!

About a year ago the Upper Montclair community welcomed Turtle and The Wolf to Valley Road a not so hidden (although not as popular YET) gem. Valley Road literally has it all; amazing homes, chain stores like Kings, William Sonoma, Starbucks, and quaint little shops like Sweet Home Montclair & Apple Village. And now you can top off a beautiful day about town with Dinner at Turtle and the Wolf!

Turtle and The Wolf is an American (New) Restaurant brought to us by the amazingly talented Chef Lauren Hirschberg. Having spent many years with Craft Restaurant Group, Chef Lauren brings his talents to Montclair, NJ where his culinary skills are displayed wonderfully when southern comfort meets big city dinning.

The dinner scene at Turtle and The Wolf is much different from Brunch with tables reserved 2 to 3 weeks in advance it is difficult to get a walk-in reservation any given weekend. But we finally lucked out! We mistakenly forgot to grab a bottle of wine, but conveniently there is a wine and spirits store right across from Turtle and The Wolf (Angelbeck’s The Wine Store). Saved by the wine store!

We walked into a warm room, dimly lit, filled with lots of chatter, glasses clinking, and laughter all around. There was a family of five out for a Friday night dinner, more than a few couples out on a date night and a handful of ladies in the corner enjoying a girl’s night. If the house made sausage on the brunch menu were any inclination, we should have known dinning at Turtle and Wolf would be nothing less than finger-licking good.

The menu….where to begin, I really really wanted to go for the deviled eggs, but having walked in knowing I was having dessert I opted for the Arugula, radish, cucumber salad. My date for the evening was not as modest, opting to start off with the hot wings. And from the looks of his pile of wipes, or better yet lack thereof, the wings were finger licking good… and we were in public… I can tell you it only got better and more fingers would be licked.

We ordered the roasted 1/2 chicken with red potatoes, fiddlehead, and gremolata and Braised Beef Brisket, Pommel Puree, radish, and Black Garlic Jus…. All I can say is people call things #fingerlickinggood often but this was #lickingyourplate #fingerlicking #pleaseletthisplatebebottomless Amazingly GOOD.

So, you’re probably thinking, salad, wings, chicken AND Brisket no way they had room for dessert (and remember I said Chef Lauren does not skimp on portion sizes)… Nope, you know how when your mom cooks your favorite meal and you know you’re no longer hungry but you could go for seconds, and then she reminds the table there is dessert and you feel like your entire life was just made! OK that feeling right there, enter Maple p√īt de cr√™me, Zeppoles, and Vanilla cake with house made whipped cream. I know I know you think every restaurant MUST make their own whipped cream, one taste of this ACTUAL house made whipped cream from T+ W and your night will be made! And yes, I have no shame in saying we ordered all 3 of their dessert items and boy am I glad we did!

It was just two of us, so we unfortunately could not try more from the menu, but never fear we will MOST DEFINITELY be back for more!!!

Tasting menus, Fried chicken, Duck pot pie, deviled eggs, I mean so much to eat (must wear stretchy pants….and maybe make a reservation for 4 next time?)

Who’s coming??

Dinner at Turtle and the Wolf
We were finally able to get reservations for dinner at Turtle and the Wolf last week…mouthwatering& delicious!
Dinner Turtle Wolf
Maple p√īt de cr√™me up front (my personal FAVE), Zeppoles, and Vanilla cake with house made whipped cream (Hubby’s FAVE)