Osteria Crescendo - Westwood, Nj

(Eli Paryzer) #1

Chef Robbie Felice, from Viaggio, is at it again. We went to his newly opened restaurant Osteria Crescendo in Westwood Sunday night and had an outstanding dinner. The food and service was impeccable. It was nice to see some familiar Viaggio faces like the always lovely hostess Angie and our server Luis. Although the food was excellent it was way over priced. I don’t think we can afford to eat here on a regular basis. Two appetizers and 2 entrees, along with our own bottle of wine for a reasonable $25 corkage fee (they have a liquor license and were gracious enough to let us bring our own wine), came to $200 with tip. Their entrees are supposed to be for sharing but were only enough for one person (unless you are two size zero models :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:).
We started off with an awesome house cured 14 month prosciutto pared with an amazing pear mostarda that went perfectly with it. We also had an excellent mushroom crepe with radicchio, ricotta, and acedo balsamico. Both appetizers were very flavorful. For entrees, we had a beautifully presented whole grilled and deboned branzino with asparagus, fiddle head fern, English pea, morel, and salsa verde. The skin was beautifully charred but it was not worth an outrageous $59. It was enough for 1 person. The sides were miniscule (1 asparagus cut into 4 pieces, 2 fiddle head fern, a few peas). There was definitely not enough sides to share for 2 people. That is why we ordered another ‘sharing’ entree of fabulous scallops wrapped in prosciutto with herbs and quinoa. It came with 5 nice sized and perfectly cooked scallops, which is enough for 1 person, not two. We brought an excellent 2011 Domaine Lafond Chateauneuf Du Pape. I think we will probably stick to the more reasonable Viaggio, unless they adjust their prices accordingly. I wish them the best of luck.










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What's for Dinner #44 - 04/2019 - the April Flowers but no Showers Edition
#2

Nice pics! That does look great but a 59 dollar branzino? That is really steep. I like the presentation on the scallops. I wonder if they trimmed them up before of after they were cooked.

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#3

$59 branzino is a perfect example of what I hated about so many restaurants in NNJ!!

Eli, It still looks/sounds delicious!

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(Eli Paryzer) #4

Yes, the food and presentation was top notch but these are Manhattan prices. The scallops were actually 7 scallops, but somehow they say when they trim and roll them up it comes out to 5 scallops. They were cooked perfectly and the sweetness of the scallops played off perfectly with the saltiness of the prosciutto. The quinoa also complemented it perfectly. The skin on the branzino had a beautiful char on it, but it is still not a very meaty or filling fish, and is no way worth $59. I could see paying $59 for maybe a larger meatier fish that can feed 2 people. I really wish Chef Robbie the best of luck, but at these prices, this is going to be a special occasion restaurant, and not a regular restaurant, unless the people in Westwood are very wealthy and can afford to spend this type of money on a regular basis. I can see them doing very well at the bar, where they have a separate small bites menu.

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#5

If you remember when we talked about the Thai style red snappers, I would check those out. I think all the Thai places here in Monmouth County are byob and some have great whole snapper. Some places serve bigger ones too. I’m sure there are some Thai places up north to get a reasonably priced fish. 59 should get you a monster! Haha!

I know you and Mrs P like whole fish, as I do. 3 -5 lb is a nice size snapper and I think a 3-4 lb is a hearty meal for 2 people. This baby was a 3lb fish. If you’re in the area let me know :slight_smile:

That’s a tamarind sauce with cashews but they do other styles too.

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(Eli Paryzer) #6

That red snapper is a beauty Johnny. Mrs. P likes her whole fish fried and crispy. We usually get the fried porgy at Stamna Greek Taverna in Little Falls.

https://cdn.hungryonion.org/original/3X/d/9/d94d2b9b06d51a199b6ec16a474ef7afdc1cd46e.png

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#7

And yes, those scallops looked awesome. I’m still wondering how they got such precision on the cut.

I can think of three ways

A) they did it raw/cold which I doubt. I don’t think you are getting such a clean cut on the proscuitto.
B) they rolled it up like a sushi roll and then cut it once out of the broiler
C) they did the “roll” thing and froze it a little to firm things up and then cut it while harder.

Either way, I will try to replicate this…wonderful presentation. I’m a big scallop fan and di Parma fan too! Anything wrapped in di Parma is great in my book.

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(Eli Paryzer) #8

My guess is option B.

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#9

Porgies are tasty if you can deal with bones. I personally like them. We catch a lot here in central nj. I’m all about crispy fried fish too. I find the Thai places do it best with their bold flavors

I am trying to find some porgy pics. I have way too many pictures on this phone that aren’t organized in any fashion. There is one on the right.

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(Eli Paryzer) #10

What is that 2nd one? I would pay $59 for that :grin:
And what type of fish is the 1st and 3rd one. They look nice too.

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#11

Fish 1 and 3 are blackfish, also called tog or tautog. They are very good eating. The Chinese present them live in China town and you pick your fish live before they cook it. It is a kind of sketchy market and there is a lot of poaching of these fish. I will leave it at that :slight_smile: The conger eel is the long one and they aren’t too great. My friend’s uncle smokes them so we kept it for him. The porgy is the little one. That is a bad day of fishing. Normally you catch a lot more but as mentioned, I have thousands of pics on this phone so finding things isn’t easy for me lol. @tomt gets out too. He has some cool tog pics.

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#12

Where is that (The whole fish with tamarind sauce)?? Looks delicious!

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(Eli Paryzer) #13

Those black fish look real nice. I’m sure they could feed two people.

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#14

Hi Evie. That is from Siam garden. They get some decent sized snapper. You pay by the pound usually. It isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for. 15 a pound last time. So a 3lb fish can feed two if you don’t have a huge appetite and maybe get an app or soup.

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(Tom T) #15

Not as many as I’d like. this guy was sent back with a sore butt

As you can see above, just keeper size, 15" would be good for one person,. Probably an 18 - 20" fish would be good for two. I’m not a fan of keeping the big fish to eat, and these days will let them swim again. You will see these in tanks at Asian markets sometimes, and in Chinese restaurants.

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