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Bites Nearby: Monticello

Fine dining in Red Bank offers outside seating on Broad Street

I went to with my mom and two aunts a few weeks ago for the first time. Located right on Broad Street, it has a small outside seating area for nice weather.

They have a wide variety for the fine diner; this restaurant is definitely on point as a nice "treat yourself" kind of dinner.  For an appetizer we all split the Fresh Mozzarella Capresse made of fresh mozzarella of course, paired with slice vine ripened tomatoes, touch of pesto roasted peppers, grilled eggplant, zucchini, and olives, drizzled with a citrus vinaigrette.  

They have many other appetizers to offer, including Jumbo Scallop over Pancetta Risotto (seared Jumbo sea scallops on top of creamy pancetta risotto and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil), Wine Poached Pear with Prosciutto and Gorgonzola (baked gorgonzola stuffed pear served with arugula and prosciutto di parma and drizzled with balsamic fig sauce), and Tuna Carpaccio Asian Style (A1 sushi grade tuna loin drizzled with spicy aioli and spicy honey sauce and topped with cucumber sesame seed salad).

After browsing the menu with a glass of red wine (BYO), I decided that for the first time in a long while, I was in the mood for a steak.  I was in luck, as they feature a NY Strip Steak served with a choice of two sides (as the special of the day) and I opted for broccoli rabe an the pancetta risotto.  The steak was cooked just the way I liked it (medium -- pink but not too pink). I had to opt for the pancetta risotto, a creamy and salty combination that complimented the steak well. And the broccoli rabe --- well who doesn't like that? Olive oil and garlic -- just a perfect side.  

My mom and one aunt both decided to order the Chicken Modena, grilled chicken breast served with a shallots cherry tomato balsamic reduction demi sauce.  Served over a regular risotto and julienne vegetables, I must say, I tried some, and realized why both of them had a hard time leaving some on their plate.  My other aunt ordered off the same menu I did, but opted for the Veal chop, also served over risotto, but chose the julienne vegetables.  All in all, every loved their meals and would definitely go back.  There are ways to eat for comfort (for example, my steak and pancetta risotto) or eat relatively healthy but while also enjoying the treat of eating out (i.e. grilled chicken and julienne vegetables).

Next time I visit Monticello, I will definitely be deciding between another few menu items -- Chicken Monticello (grilled chicken breast with sauteed Portobello mushrooms and roasted peppers topped with manchego cheese and served in a Chianti reduction), or I will browse the pasta menu and decide between Gnocchi Monticello (sauteed shrimp tossed with potato gnocchi in a creamy brandy goat cheese sauce with artichoke hearts, portobello mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, shallots, and peas), Amatricciana with sausage (sauteed ground sausage, Portobello mushrooms, shallots, peas and pancetta in a pomodoro fresco sauce and tossed with spaghettini pasta), or just chose from their choice of potato gnochhi or fusilli and a choice of either bolognese, vermouth, caprese style, pomodoro fresco, pesto, or vodka sauces.

Monticello offeres catering, private parties, and a kids menu with basic Italian favorites to offer for children 12 and under. To learn more about this restaurant, visit www.monticelloatredbank.com, call (732) 450-0255, or just go in for lunch or dinner.

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