November 29, 2010 at 6:38 AM
You’ll love the meatballs and pasta at Clemenza’s Brick Oven Pizza.
Formerly La Cucina Trattoria, the restaurant is now owned and operated by Joe Zecca and family. Named in memory of Richard Costellano, before taking a look at the menu, request the server bring an order of warm and toasty Focaccia bread to the table. Then take a moment to study the menu. In addition to appetizers of hot, sweet, or savory fried calamari and clams posillipo in a light red sauce, try the always fresh and crispy Caesar salad, or lump crab meat and shrimp over spring mix, with honey mustard dressing. Should we be experiencing typical winter weather, warm-up with a bowl of escarole, minestrone, or tortellini soup.
At the new Clemenza’s, head into their Brick Oven Pizzeria. A perfect addition to Clemenza’s Cucina Ristorante, you’ll appreciate the many different varieties of brick oven pizza featured on the menu. For starters opt for a personal 12 inch cheese pie, ($7.25); (each additional topping, $.95 each); Clemenza’s Focaccia pizza, ($16.95); Marguerite Pizza, with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato, or tomato sauce, ($17.95);
a Veggie Pizza with mixed vegetables, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce, ($16.95); Cheese Steak Pizza, with steak, mozzarella cheese, potatoes, onions, and peppers, ($19.95), or a Bruschetta pizza, ($19.95). (Pies come in 12, 14, or 18 inch rounds with assorted toppings.)
The Brick Oven Menu also features an array of sandwiches. From eggplant parmigiana, to meatballs, sausage and peppers, and even Italian style grilled chicken, ($9.95), you’re also able to order wraps in your favorite combinations, ($8.25).
But for us, it’s our old favorite spaghetti and meatballs which are actually enhanced with even larger meatballs, set atop a mound of delicious spaghetti. Friends, ordered Chicken Giambotta, with a chicken breast enhanced with garlic, mushrooms, potatoes, peppers, and sausage in a wine sauce, and Chicken Murphy, with mushrooms, onions, potatoes, and vinegar peppers in a wine sauce.
Veal Dishes feature veal scaloppine prepared either Marcella, Francaise or Piccata, ($21.95). A delectable veal chop Milanese is butter- flied and breaded, then topped with tomatoes, red onions, arugula, and shaved parmigiana-romano cheese in Clemenza’s house dressing,
A 14 oz. veal chop can arrive grilled, or giambotta with hot or sweet peppers, ($28.00).
For dessert, ask for a tray of “Homemade” Italian cookies...(especially the bakers pignoli nut dreams). You’re also welcome to order chocolate gelato or cheese cake in flavors of Ricotta or New York style, tiramisu and the always special Tartufo, (from $7.50).
The new Clemenza’s opened a mere month ago. The crowd last Saturday night sent a clear message: Keep this eatery on your “TO-GO” list!
Location: Clemenza’s Cucina, 291 Essex Street, Millburn
Location: Clemenza’s Brick Oven Pizza, 291 Essex Street, Millburn
Call and ask about holiday parties. Clemenza’s will be open for New Years Eve with two seatings; (5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.).
Hours: Open 7 Days
Clemenza’s Cucina: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Thursday. 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 3 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
Clemenza’s Brick Oven Pizza: Open: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday. 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
FYI: BYOB. Casual dress for Clemenza’s Brick Oven Pizza.
Clemenza’s Cucina: Weekend reservations suggested Casually smart dress/. Street and municipal lot parking. Wheelchair accessible. Call and ask about holiday parties. Clemenza’s will be open Christmas Eve from noon to 8 p.m.; Two Seatings for New Year’s Eve: 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Millicent K. Brody is an award-winning writer and photographer and a resident of Westfield, New Jersey. Contact her at Mkbrody@aol.com
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