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Mid-Atlantic Italian

Sera- Great new Italian in Mt Laurel New Jersey

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Sera- Great new Italian in Mt Laurel New Jersey

Markarotti | Oct 11, 2004 09:08 AM

I appologize in advance for one of my wordy "wannable" restaurant critic reviews. However, I will tell you that my wife and I had a wonderful dinner at Sera last night. I went for lunch on Friday after I had seen a favorable review in the newspaper.

The new decor is soothing and nouveau artsy with brush stroke Sienna paint on tan stucco walls and bright chair cushions of red, blue,
and gold which match modern art on the wall.

A small bar with stools faces the wood burning brick oven in the left hand corner and over to the right is a dimly lit
wine storage room with floor to ceiling glass. It is both temperature and humidity controlled.

I was told that it was for their "regular" customers who prefer to store their better wines.

For lunch I had some very fresh grilled calamari with the usual olive oil and lemon herb flavorings.
The serving was plentiful and very fresh...placed on a bed of arrugula.
At first, it tasted a little too salty but maybe that is because I don't salt any of my food...???

My entre for lunch was a Chicken Involtino...two deliciously tender breasts stuffed with prosciuto , spinach and fontina
cheese....delicious and the ingredients were fresh.

The grilled veggies and potatoes that accompanied my lunch and our dinner last night were also fresh and done al dente.

The bread on the table is a little bit hard and ordinary....this needs improvement.
You are given one small plate of olive oil which is overly suffused with balsamic vinegar.

Joanne, my Atkins queen had to ask for butter.

For dinner last night my girls had cappelini with Pomodoro sauce and and Linguini with the same....the gravy was
delicious, fresh, and light.

For appetizers , Joanne had a spinach salad with cranberries, feta cheese and pine nuts. The dressing was very (too)
dark for my liking. There goes that flood of Balsamic again...

I had a gateau of chunks of tuna arranged a top of creamy, nutty avacado with diced tomatoes adorning the top and the
sides of the plate. It had a slight drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and I ok'd the waiter's splash of black pepper.
This was perfect for the 2002 Gini Soave that I was drinking.

For entres, we both had specials: Joanne had an absolutely delicious duo of tender
chicken breasts stuffed with fontina cheese
and covered with sundried tomatoes and porcini mushrooms. The accompanying sauce was white wine based.

My entre was veal stuffed with prosciutto and fontina cheese with mushrooms covering it...again with sundried tomatoes
and a white wine sauce. It was also quite good although the veal was a bit chewy at times.

Both specials were priced UNDER $20!

The menu is very ambitious with several fish items including Branzino(spelling? Bronzino?) and several steak
and veal items.
They have gnocci and home made Papparedelle.

The decaf cappucino was the BEST (and least bitter) that I have had in years and homemade gelatti was creamy and
delcious! (Hazlenut, Strawberry, and Chocolate) The white chocolate and Chocolate mouse cakes were not
that good and should be skipped over in lieu of something else.
Surprise! No Tiramisu on the dessert cart last night!!!

The lighting and the Italian music in the background was very romantic(even with the kids there)
Although the music was a tad loud at times, it was not over bearing.
They listened to us when we first walked in and told them that the air conditioning needed to be turned down.
(Ladies bring a wrap just in case!)

Overall, the atmosphere , the appetizers, and the main course deserve a B plus to an A minus.
The bread, the music, the air conditioning and the desserts a Bminus to a B.
The cappucino and the gelatti an A plus!

I would definitely go back with hopes that things continue to get better...could be Laceno of Mt Laurel in the future...
already has a more subdued, romantic, and white linen atmosphere...

The restaurant is located on Church Road in Mt Laurel
N.J. @ 1 mile west of the intersection of Fellowship
road and Church road.

Enjoy.

Ciao...

Marko

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