Off to buy a suit from a men's store in Nutley w/ my lady Lois (a clothing designer who knows both good suits & good food). Suit for an upcoming wedding at which I will be guesting- not playing. (Jim Leff knows the rarity both of musicians being guests at weddings as opposed to being employees, as well as owning a wardrobe that is something other than tees, jeans, and tuxes....:-)
Suit search a success... now, where to eat? Lois's friend Charlie says: "Try Terrazza's up the street- I know the owner, I'll call him for you..."
So off we go. We walk into an un-pretentious but still stylish place, nice long bar, two dining areas. You can see the kitchen, wait staff walks right up to counter. Cooks & waiters are youthful, efficient, and personable.
We split an appetizer from the "Specials" board. Figs stuffed w/ goat cheese & pistachios on top of arrugila & prosciutto, Along with some very flavorful (& pitted!!) black olives (we joked about telling them "just give us a bowl of these olives...")
Lois ordered the "Clip-fillet" (which is Atlantic Grouper- also from Specials board) that was piled with a sort of crispy dried onion laid on a bed of their homemade mashed potatoes. (They honored her request for "minimal if any garlic"... Which still amazes me. I'm dating a woman of Sicilian background who can't deal with garlic...).
Alas- me being "conservative" again. Chicken Saltimbocca. A very subtle one- you almost don't notice the top layers of mozzarella & prosciutto. The sauce & red-jacket potatoes set it all off very well...
Okay, we didn't order dessert. But, since we were referred by a friend, the manager gave us an "on the house" small dish of canoli & biscotti. Canolis were very good- the biscotti was a surprise. Chocolate- not too "hard," and with little chocolate pieces baked in. I also did my usual coffee w/ B&B on the side...
Cost was just short of $70 (excluding tip- I'm generous...)for two. Well worth it. As we left (about 8:30), bar was getting crowded.
Excellent food- highly recommended.
Again- Terrazza's Ristorante & Bar. 507 Franklin Avenue (southbound side- free valet parking), Nutley, NJ.
Final somewhat unrelated note here- I've been meaning to mention also a restaurant on Rte. 46 (Eastbound) in Fairfield (I think) called "Marakesh." We've eaten there before- it's excellent, though tough to spot from the highway. Moroccan cuisine- Lois took a client there a few days back & they may be victims of the "post-WTC" syndrome that most "Arabic-run" establishments are suffering from, i.e. she and her client were the only ones there. Which is a shame. I promise to get there within the next week or so and post a complete "review" here. I do recall having a lamb dish there where it literally just fell off the bone...