La Cucina Nouveau - Marlboro NJ

Last night was my 2nd time dining here. The space is nice, this particular location use to be a Salad Works but apparently they closed and LCN moved in over a year ago.

Both nights we arrived and our table, with a reservation, was waiting. Brought to our table and quickly brought some warm bread and olives. The bread looks delicious, the olives are tasty. (I should note on both my visits I’ve been following an Atkins type diet, so no carbs, pasta, breads etc for me) So too bad for me on the bread, the server is prompt to great and read specials. On both visits the servers were efficient and friendly the service is good.

Each night there were a few specials it seems one meat, fish and pasta. My first visit I ordered a stuffed pork chop, it was very good, just on the smaller side. We had ordered apps so I wasn’t left hungry, but I might have been without. My visit last night I had a steak-chicken-sausage peppers and onions (suppose to be with potatoes I asked for without which they accommodated). This dish was far more ample and very good, even without the potatoes. Pasta, which is home made, seems to really be the highlight of this place. Each time the people who ordered pasta dishes seemed to be the most impressed, sadly I cannot offer any comment.

Last night the apps consisted of; Fried Calamari , Beet Salad (special), Octopus Grilled, Mussles, Eggplant Rolentini, Broccoli Rabe. The lowest grade went to the beet salad, the eggplant, calamari and Mussles were very good. This was my fist experience with octopus and it wasn’t bad, it was too grilled tasting, to charred tasting for my preference but for a first experience it wasn’t bad. (Now I have to try Porta so I can be one of the cool kids too!)

Entrees; 2 Lamb Chops (special), Halibut (special), Sirloin with hot Italian peppers and onions (special) Shrimp and Broccoli with ribbon noodles, my meal mentioned above. Everyone was happy, but again highest praise seems to be for the pasta dish and sides of pasta.

Overall a good experience especially for and area where you can’t travel 100 yards without driving past 2-3 Italian-Pizza places. Personally because of my diet, I’m not sure I would drive the 20 mins to keep going back, as I have similar closer to home, San Remo Red Bank, to name one. However if you are closer to that area or needing a place I would recommend it. It’s a BYOB however there is a Wine Acadamy in the same plaza.

Cost $125. Per couple for apps, entrees, coffee and dessert. Including a 20+% tip.

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We had an excellent but uncomfortable dinner at La Cucina Nouveau. The food was excellent, the servers were friendly and masked, but the hostess/owner was NOT masked, and was walking around kissing and hugging all of the regular customers. Also the restaurant was jam packed at 100%, not 50%. Everyone was on top of each other. There was no social distancing. There were several 10 and 12 tops, when max at one table is supposed to be 6 or 8. I felt like I went back in time pre Covid.
The funny thing was that we got there at 5 for our reservation, and the owner comes out asking us to come back in 15 minutes, because they just had a large party, and had to sanitize the place for our safety :smiley: Fortunately, we had a small 2 top that was separated from the main dining room by a half wall, and the table set for 6 on the other side of the wall was empty while we were there (one of maybe 2 empty tables). At least we had a little breathing room. When we left, there was a crowd of people waiting in the vestibule for their tables. I think we will stick with Il Nido across the highway.
Anyway, we enjoyed an excellent NY Strip steak; whole branzino; awesome fried crispy eggplant, burrata, and tomato tower; crispy fried soft shell crab with aioli, and clams oreganata. It all went great with an excellent Amarone. Please note that the wine picture was taken about 45 minutes before that main dining room fully filled up.










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