Silence is Golden at Montclair’s Fascino

Fascino
331 Bloomfield Ave.
Montclair, NJ, 07042
973-233-0350
www.fascinoresteaurant.com

We always seem to end up at Fascino in Montclair for special occasions and I got to wondering about why that is. The food is great, but there are a lot of great places in the area, as evidenced by this blog. What I think sets Fascino apart is the atmosphere. It’s not just the food, it’s the atmosphere stupid.

What I appreciate about the upscale Italian eatery is the fact I can have a conversation with someone without losing my voice the next day. As much as we like food we probably like talking about the food we ordered just as much.

We had just that experience the other night as I took C out for her birthday during the week. There are few places in Montclair even New Jersey that could boast of a nearly full dining room at 8 p.m. on a Wednesday. But there we were sitting down to a meal of homemade pasta at probably our favorite place in town. We heard several other happy birthday’s in the dining room so I don’t think we are off base in recommending Fascino for special occasions. As such, reservations are highly recommended and we suggest leaving enough time to find a parking spot on the street as the restaurant is a bit of a walk from the Fullerton and Church St. parking decks.

Now, let’s to the food.

Fascino has a diverse menu featuring several a regular and vegetarian tasting menu, however we opted to for ala carte the other night. I’m always a little hesitant to order ravioli at an Italian place. Sometimes you get 10 and sometimes you get two but I went for the ravioli stuffed with foie gras as an appetizer and was treated with four fairly large, expertly cooked pieces. The pasta was al dente on the outside and then melted with the soft meat stuffed on the inside. For a main course, I pulled an audible and switched from the scallops that I was eyeing to a pompano over risotto. I did this mainly to tell people I’ve eaten Pompano but I was rewarded with a tasty white fish that, combined with the expertly made risotto, turned out to be a pretty, darn good meal.

C went with the yellowfin tuna tartar, which was good but the ravioli was a better choice. However, her main dish of ricotto gnocci with a sausage bolognese sauce was really the treat of the night. You’ll be hard pressed to find better gnocci. If M&Ms were pasta, they would be Fascino’s gnocci.

We splurged for dessert and were not disappointed. I tried to the molten center chocolate cake with hazelnut gelato while C ordered off the menu for a sampling of gelato. Dessert was good and worth splurging on but our opinion is that Fascino’s homemade pasta is really where the restaurant shines.

As far as service goes, we’ve never had a problem, and did not have one the other night. We’ve found Fascino’s staff to be attentive, friendly and well informed.

One more word about Fascino. If you are a fan, get on the resteaurant’s mailing/e-mail list. Just two days after signing up we were rewarded with an e-mail telling us about Fascinos upcoming Valentine’s Day menu. It’s definitely nice when a restaurant understands and uses the Internet in a good way for its customers.

JC

Want a different opinion, check out Baristanet reviews here.

If you know a restaurant or other local attraction we should check out please e-mail us at jerseycoolemail@aol.com

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One Response to “Silence is Golden at Montclair’s Fascino”

  1. Excitables for the Weekend of Feb 9-11 « JerseyCool Says:

    […] before heading out as it will likely be a busy weekend in the eats business. Our personal picks are Fascino and Table 8 in Montclair or the Iron Monkey in Jersey City. Heading into the city and have a few […]

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