20 hours ago
Friday, October 12, 2012
I think I am changing the name of this blog to Stacey Spuntino.
Spuntino means "SNACKS" in Italian. Light bites, tapas style foods, popular in Italy, sort of like "sfizi" (which are bites, or nips). I love all these little words and the little bites that go with them.
I had the opportunity to attend a dinner and wine tasting at the new SPUNTINO WINE BAR in my home state of NEW JERSEY! Yes people, another restaurant doing good things in the Garden State, go figure.
It's a difficult concept for New Jerseyans to grab hold of, this "spuntino" thing.
"What do you mean it's a SMALL plate? We need HUGE plates of food piled high, and what do mean there is no "Chicken Parm or Vocka Rig?" (that would be Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce if you live in New Jersey), I could hear the table next to me asking.
It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but let's be open to try new things (now there's a concept!).
Spuntino Wine Bar is housed in a gorgeous industrial space with a huge marble bar and open kitchen, serving antipasto to order (much like EATALY in NYC), salumi and cheeses, with a beautiful meat slicer, slicing prosciutto to order. They offer 42 great Italian wines by the glass and all Italian beers by the bottle and on tap!
We tried 6 special wines from regions that I usually wouldn't order from.
Campania, in the Southern part of the boot, seemed to be the popular region for delicious wines this night.
They have wines from almost every region of Italy (and Lambrusco from Emilia Romagna soon to come). Check out their beautiful wine list.
The menu starts with the cheeses and meats, then goes down to bruschetta, verdure (vegetables), salads, griglia (meats from the grill), polpette (meatballs), pasta and pizza.
We started with bruschetta, and I knew I was in the right place, when the server pronounced it bru-SKET-TA (I'm a pain, aren't I?).
Delicious warm toast, served with ricotta and roasted grapes (I am making this soon!), and a special olive tapenade.
Next course we tried the arancini (fried rice balls w/ mozzarella and peas) and a side of roasted Brussels sprouts w/ Pecorino Romano. Hello?
Onto a cavatappi with Wild Boar Ragu............A Chicken Milanese (so good!), and a special Swordfish topped with beautiful Caponata (Sicilian eggplant relish).
We ended the terrific meal with a pizza. Topped with ricotta, potatoes, pancetta, caramelized onions and rosemary. WOW.
Heads up: these portions are NOT that small, people.
I had just a bite of each item and was so stuffed, that I hardly had room for dessert.
But I ordered it anyway.
Joey Bag O' Donuts would be happy.
A paper bag of fried dough balls (like beignets or zeppole), topped with powdered sugar arrives at our table with chocolate dipping sauce.
You don't have to order as many items as we did (we like to try everything), maybe just a few "snacks" and some amazing wine to pair with.
Spuntino Wine Bar is a great new addition to Passaic County.
Spuntino Wine Bar
70 Kingsland Road
Clifton Commons on Route 3 East