Were he a food critic, as our old friend Charles Dickens when played in a movie by Humphrey Bogart might have quipped: “It was the best of joints, it was the worst of joints.” The refined Italian cuisine served up at Due Terre remains, in our experience, unsurpassed in the Garden State. The noise level, too, remains unsurpassed . . .except perhaps by a Boeing 767. And it’s a crying shame because the food is so very, very good.
Without going into detail (see our earlier write-ups at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/471477 http://www.chowhound.com/topics/478199 ) Due Terre’s attention to detail rivals the finest, fussiest, high end French restaurants around. Here’s an example. They don’t simply toss sprigs of parsley on the extraordinarily good Calamari appetizer as an afterthought as most restaurants might. Instead, they first drop the parsley sprigs into the deep fryer for a few seconds so that the parsley flavor is more subtle, and the now crisp-almost-crunchy greens match the texture of the dish. Tonight’s Gnocchi, too, was a wonder. The sauce was a meatless mushroom ragout so very woodsy yet so rich and so dense one might at first bite have mistaken it for a Bolognese.
Due Terre’s manager, a knowledgeable and honestly enthusiastic oenophile who takes a well-merited personal pride in Due Terre’s cuisine, informed us that they’ve hired an acoustician who is hot on the case. We’ve been assured that the noise problem will be completely under control (at the cost of some big bucks) within the next few months. Fingers crossed . . .
However, until then, to get tonight’s ringing out of my ears, I have no choice but to burst into song:
*Oh, My Ears!*
(Sung to the tune of ‘Doe, A Deer.’)
Oh, my ears, my aching ears
Rays of torture sear my brain
Me, I think I’m going to run
Far away or go insane
So, they’ve got a killer chef
Loll awhile and you’ll go deaf
Tears I shed, so full of woe
Cause the food’s so worth the dough, dough, dough, dough
Oh, my ears, my . . .