Overall Review: Okay. Nothing to write home to Nonna about.
“New American Cuisine Wears an Imported Italian Suit”
Janine: We have dined at Undici on several occasions. The food has been okay but nothing stellar in my opinion. Frankly, I was very disappointed the last time we went there. A good example was the barbabietole or roasted beat salad I ordered to start my meal. It was a colorful dish but the lacked acidity. Vibrant on the plate is no substitute for bland on the palate.
Chris: I ordered the Razza which is a pan-fried Skate wing. Skate is by far one of my favorite types of ocean fish. I usually order it whenever I see it on a menu. Undici’s version was a poorly executed. The top side was a nice golden brown. The bottom (plate) side was a dark mahogany color. It bordered on being burnt. I guess the chef didn’t think I would look under the hood (so to speak). It was also over salted.
Janine: My entrée was the Malfadine Bolognese. It was good, but nothing we couldn’t prepare ourselves at home. I like the atmosphere but my husband thinks it’s forced.
Chris: They seem to be trying too hard to create the rustic Tuscan dining experience. Atmosphere and décor is nice, but I would rather be wowed with what’s on the plate. It kind of feels like you are dining at the Olive Garden for rich people.
Janine: Some of the best meals I’ve ever had in Italy were in little Mom and Pop-type places. Nothing pretentious, just simple food made from local ingredients. True Italian cuisine adheres to the seasons. For example, If artichokes aren’t in season, they aren’t on the menu.
Chris: To me, Undici tries to dress up New American Cuisine in Italian ingredients and pass it off as rustic Italian. True rustic Italian cuisine has little patience for dainty presentations and lengthy ingredient lists.
Undici Taverna Rustica
11 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760