Nana's Kitchen- Middletown, NJ

As mentioned in previous posts, new spot in the old Ana’s Kitchen (I know, name is confusing) spot in Middletown across from post office on 35. The team from Fresh in Highlands is behind this one. NOTHING to do with previous owners of this location at all; all new despite similar name.

Full disclosure, I am close to people involved with the spot so I will refrain from schilling or really speaking on it other than to answer questions or give honest opinion and will fully disclose such. I myself have 0 to do with the spot. At time of my initial post on the subject people I know were not involved in the restaurant, only recently changed.

Will say, given what seems to have gone into the restaurant and the people behind it I feel like it should be a good place in an area that could sorely use one. Menu looks to be an elevated Italian theme as sort f homage to classic Italian but not typical red-sauce joint level stuff.

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Man, that is a confusing name and I bet they are going to get lots of questions about it.

Looking forward to hearing how it is. You are right, that area could use a good restaurant.

First critique: SHILL!!! (Joke)

Seriously though for a BYOB having the first pic on the slide to be of a wine bottle and martini glass is very deceiving. I would automatically assume they had a liquor license.

That being said the interior photos remind me of several of my old favorite Italian places, the menu looks pretty decent, I will try to give them a try.

Good luck to them!!!

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I definitely wish them the best. That is going to be a tough battle…lots of Italian around here to compete with. Hopefully the food is top notch.

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ty sir- looking forward to your thoughts when you have a chance to go.

Sounds like they saved money on signage by slapping an “N” in there.

I was thinking about where to go to lunch tomorrow. I want to try this spot but I’m not sure if they are open for lunch and I don’t see a lunch menu, if they are indeed open for lunch. I could be missing it though (on android phone now.)

I see that they are open 5-10 pm at the bottom of their website.

Correct. No lunch yet.


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Ok, after seeing the web site this reminded me of one of my favorite restaurants back in the 90’s called Caruso’s in Plainfield so I was anxious to get here.

We arrived 6pm last night with out reservations and were greeted and seated immediately. We were only 1 of 3 tables in the restaurant. We were greeted by our waiter offered water (tap individual bottle brought to table) given bread (delicious assortment of bread and olive oil) and read the specials.

Apps: Beet salad, meat and cheeses with hummus, pasta fagiole. I had the pasta fagiole which was good, I enjoyed it although I was skeptical when it looked very brothy vs. a thicker stew type consistency which is how I like it. Although it was a broth it was very good tasting so no complaints here. My daughter the hummus expert said the hummus was some brand made, not house made (no way to verify this) but she enjoyed the platter none the less. The beet salad received moderate approval the beets were sliced super thin, I guess lessening their flavor.

Entrees: seared scallops - orrecietta with bacon and cauliflower - grilled 16oz ribeye medium

The food was all very good, I didn’t particularly care for my steak and wouldn’t order it again. It seemed to be pan fried rather than grilled? It was not bad, it was a decent cut and tasty, I just didn’t care for the preparation with -0- “crust” or sear to the steak at all.

The scallops were delicious as was my daughter’s pasta.

Some kind of homemade ice cream the ladies split for desert.

The service was very good, the wine I brought was bad (dammit probably had the bottle 15 years! Lol) and the servicee was very helpful in getting us replacement, truly above and beyond!

I do have one complaint, while we were there one of the tables in the back of the dining room must have been an owner. As a table came in during our meal he got up from his table to personally greet this table. Later when he was done he moved and sat with the table he greeted. If you are an owner/manager and you are “announcing “ your presence then you should check on all your tables. As a new venture you should be putting some effort into promoting your new brand, not just focus all your time and attention to your “friends” while completely ignoring the 2 other tables in your restaurant. That’s a big no-no in my book.

I will certainly go back, especially since my old favorite byob Italian San Remo has closed.



Also, does anyone else find it bizarre that there’s hummus on a meat platter in an Italian restaurant?


Yes - that would make my list of ‘gratuitous’ ingredients.

I really assumed hummus was on some sort of a crudite plate, not with the charcuterie! VERY weird, imo.

Now that you have me thinking about it, Stella Marina in Asbury Park served hummus with their charcuterie as well! (I remember because it was truffle hummus and WAY to overpowered with the hummus oil)

Ugh. So you’re saying this is a ‘thing,’ then? WHYYYYYYYYYY?

Noooooooo I’m not saying that it is, you just got me thinking about it and I remember the one from Stella Marinal.

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Googled it. It’s a thing, probably due to the paleo trend.

I still say NO!!! And seriously–it’s a paleo thing? Don’t the MEATS count? I don’t know why, but this one is definitely bugging me.


That’s funny, I was going to call it a ‘things that go with bread’ plate