July 23, 2009
The other night me and Frank decided to grab dinner at the last minute so figured we’d stay local. We usually end up going to the Centerton Inn right in Pittsgrove which has pretty good food, much better than any diner or chain restaurant around here, but I had just read earlier on Stephen from The Sweet Life Bakery’s blog mention Lucia’s give a shout out to the use of local produce and how great everything is over there that I suggested that as a break from Centerton.
The truth is that I have been wanting to try it for a while too, the outside looks like a miniture version of an italian village, but Stephen’s mention was enough to remind me to suggest it.
The interior of the restaurant is just as fun as the outside. You feel almost as though you’re stepping into venice or something (not that I’ve actually been there yet, but I like to imagine). It also brought back memories of Disney World and the world showcase with all of the “mini countries” in Epcot (on of my favorite places in the whole park ever since I was a little girl).
The bread they give you at the start of the meal is heavenly. Incredibly soft and super warm. I can be kind of picky about bread at restaurants, usually I only have it if I’m really hungry already because mostly bread is bread. It was a real treat though, a nice welcoming treat and had me excited about the rest of the meal already.
The house salad which came with out meals was delicious as well. It was served with a balsamic vinigarette and a little parmesan cheese. Once again, I usually have salad with dressing on the side and never with cheese (cheese, because of my milk allergy) but I figured I’d try it, they seemed to know what they’re doing so far. It was great. I even talked Frank into trying some miniture bites of vegetables (He generally doesn’t eat vegetables at all besides potatoes really, and even then they’re usually either mashed or fried) which lead to me trying to debate that vegetables do in fact have taste, at least in my opinion.
The entree’s did take a little bit to find their way to us, but there were only two waitresses working which always buys sympathy from me. While waiting, I did notice the only problem I had with the restaurant, the temperature. It would get to the point where it was borderline arctic and then all the sudden become very comfortable and then plummet back down to near-freezing.
But, anyway, the food eventually made its way to us.
Filet Mignon (Franks of course!). As soon as the waitress sat it down I immedietely said I was going to steal the plate. I have a sever obsession with pure white dinner ware in interesting shapes. Taking such simplicity as a clean white plate and not relying on patterns or textures to make it interesting, only shape, ugh it gets me every time (yes, the way to my heart is, in fact, interesting dinner ware). Anyhow… Frank said it was the first great steak he’s had in a while. And I can vouch for the vegetables and mushrooms in saying they were pretty darn good too.
I went with something a little different than the things I normally am attracted to. Parpadelle Carbonara is a ribbon pasta with bits of procsciutto and peas in a sauce comprised of marscarpone and parmigiana cream. It caught my eye firstly because of the prosciutto, which always give things an intriguing flavor I’ve always liked. But what really had me was the marscarpone, I love marscarpone, though I’ve never had it in a sauce before. Oh, it was so good. It wasn’t that foreign of a flavor that I think anyone could enjoy it, but it was still different take on a basic pasta in cream sauce recipe that was something new and refreshing.
All in all I really enjoyed it and would definitely go back again. I know a lot of people around here don’t like to drive far and Philly is way too far for them, but this is right in Vineland, so you have no excuses anymore. And I don’t want to hear anything about prices because, yes its more expensive then the chains or diners around here, but if you skip going to one of them once then you can go here and have truly great food that you can have full faith in has not seen the inside of a microwave (I always joke that it friendly’s takes so long because their microwave breaks a lot).
You can find their website here. Now please go and support on of the few great local businesses in Cumberland County!