I have been coming to this restaurant for years and I believe it is one of the finer Italian Restaurants in the Middlesex County area. I would often travel from Monmouth County to here for a nice night out. Last night happened to be such an occasion where I had a business/social dinner and I selected Costello’s as our dining location.
If you look at the site you will quickly see the atmosphere is of fine dining and from the bar to the dining room I find it all very appealing. The service is very attentive provided by an all male wait staff in full tuxedo attire. Something you can rarely find anymore.
We were a table of four….we started with fried calamari and shrimp arribiatta which is rock shrimp chopped in a garlic white wine and lemon sauce with some pepper flake. The calamari was cooked to perfection….obviously fresh….the lightly fried breading almost flaking off and the calamari was tender with just enough “snap” to know it is fresh and cooked to perfection. The rock shrimp dish was very flavorful and the shrimp were similarly prepared with them having a nice texture without being over cooked or a little chewy..just right.
We had four salads, one house, one mista, one caesers and one that was on special (it wasn’t mine and the details escape me). The salad portions were very generous….mine was the mista with fresh mozzarella roasted peppers endive and the house vinaigrette. All the ingredients were fresh the mozzarella was chopped into bite size pieces and could practically melt in your mouth!! The dressing had just enough vinaigrette for full flavor but not enough to drown out the salad.
Entrees were Penne Vodka Sauce, Artichoke Shrimp Linguine, Chicken Balsamic and Veal Toscano (my entrée). The first thing I would like to say is if you look at the menu I think the prices are excellent for the level of dining experience and service you are receiving. With an average price of $16.75 entrée (yes ala carte) it’s far from excessive again for the quality you are receiving.
Out of the four entrees mine and the Artichoke Shrimp Linquine were EXCELLENT. The penne vodka was a little dry….my assumption is the pasta sat in the sauce in the pan a little too long waiting for other entrée’s and it soaked up too much sauce. Flavor was excellent but the feedback from my quest was it was a little to “dry” for her liking. The chicken balsamic was a big disappointment. It was chucks of plump moist chicken breast coated in a thick and syrupy balsamic mess. Yes I know reducing balsamic produces a syrupy consistency but that was all there was to the dish….it didn’t look appealing on the plate and it was just a plain balsamic reduction flavor…nothing else to really set the dish off. A definite disappointment.
We ended the evening with some delicious and perfectly prepared espresso’s and a tartuffo and sorbet…both of which were fresh no freezer burn taste and delicious. Overall an excellent dinner and night with the exception of the one dish…which after all of my experiences here will not stop me from coming back again and again. Give it a try when in the area!!