Italian Table Trattoria
92 Rt 23 N, Riverdale, NJ 07457
Spiedini Alla Romana Skewers– Fried Mozzarella, Caper Anchovy Sauce.
Pizza - "The Works" – Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, Black Olives, Pepperoni, Meatballs, Sausage, Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce.
Chicken Parmigiana - Parmigiana– Lightly Breaded, Baked with Mozzarella & Pomodoro Sauce, Spaghetti.
Cheeseburger -Topped with french fried onions and American cheese on a brioche bun.
Italian food yes, burgers no.
The pizza and Italian offerings at ITT were a sliver above the average pizzeria\Italian restaurant; I wish I could say the same for the burger. But in fairness, and in keeping with my golden rule; "never order a steak from a seafood restaurant", I may have been asking for too much.
The pizza was very flavorful and fresh albeit served a bit further from out-of-the-oven hot as we would have liked. My wife said her chicken parmigiana dinner was also good. But according to www.NJ.com's Pizza Patrol, there are an estimated 3,000 Italian pizza restaurants in New Jersey which makes "just good" food, a weaker competitor.
With that said, this was by no means a bad meal, in fact, excluding my burger, we all left quite satisfied. Our waitress could have been more attentive, however everyone was very nice and cheerful.
On to the burger...
I was pleasantly surprised when our server asked me how I wanted my burger cooked. Didn't expect that for the mere reason that you don't hear it much anymore. Nice.
The brioche bun was excellent, it didn't appear to be a phony potato bun imposter and although the burger was a bit too thin, the burger-to-bun ratio was okay thanks to the fresh bun which compressed easily. The burger also had a wonderful beef aroma and I was stoked until I began eating and found my medium rare order to be well done. Quite well done in fact. I did the one thing I hate to do (and almost never do at a restaurant), I told our waitress. Since we ordered a pizza for the table, I had something to eat with my family while I waited for my burger correction.
The pizza, like my wife's chicken parm, was also good, but it too, was "just good" with no stand-out feature(s) to make it stick in our memory's enough to want to repeat the experience. Again, (IMHO), in a state littered with these types of Italian restaurants, you have to be doing something unique to create a memory.
In a few minutes my second burger was served and it was,,, (drum roll),,,
raw and barely above room temperature.
I was devastated, but I was in no way going to send this one back so I ate around the edges which were a step above raw.
Here comes my rant:
It stands to reason the two slices of cheese were no where near melted, and for the life of me I'll never understand why some restaurants stoop to the level of including an extra cost for American cheese on their menus. I'd completely understand an upscale restaurant offering some type of $40\pound imported cheese at an extra cost, but to ask for extra money for 2 slices of processed American cheese? I'm sorry, that just sends a bad signal. (Just figure the cost of the cheese into the price of a regular burger, then you're always ahead of the game and nobody's the wiser.) BTW, when I'm placing 2 slices of cheese on my cheeseburger, they are always placed above and below the burger to encase the meat and cut down on melt time. Again, my opinion.
Lastly, and what I was most excited to write about is the Spiedini. Yes, the Spiedini gets a huge OMG! This was not only the stand-out dish of our visit, this was a stand-out dish for any dining experience. The bread-to-cheese ratio was spot-on, the doneness of the bread was perfection, (crisp and dry, nothing greasy) the lemon and capers made the sauce perfectly tart and rich, and nothing was over salted. Perfection!!!! This was one of the dishes we ordered for the table to share, but I so wanted to gorge myself with it. Be sure to check the photo!
In closing, my intent for this and all reviews is to share my experience and add constructive criticism where needed. If all dishes served at this establishment were at the level of the Spiedini, reservations would be required on a nightly basis.
I'm hoping for much success at the Italian Table Trattoria and I'll be back with my family soon.