NUNZIO RISTORANTE RUSTICO
It’s hard to believe that in all of our many trips for dinner in Collingswood, NJ that Nunzio’s has never been a destination. I know I have been there more than once but not in the almost three years I have had my blog. Two Saturday evenings ago, with my wife off on a trip to New York City for a show and dinner with some girlfriends, I played the odd man out and joined three other couples for what we hoped would be some nice Italian food. There was a little confusion to start as they had the table set for six despite an afternoon call changing the reservation to seven. The matter was corrected in a short time and we had a nice round table near the windows.
My wine was a 2009 Summers, Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga, Napa Valley. I picked this one up on the recommendation of my wine guy at Wine Works in Marlton, Charlie Beatty. It’s a nice cab, the first effort from the Summers winery and garnered 91 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. I’d score it a point less than that. It has some nice blackberry and currant notes and drinks smoothly but I prefer a little more fruit forward wine. It’s priced just under $20.00 so it’s still a nice value wine and went well with my food.
Our group seemed equally divided in their dinner choices between fish and meat with some opting for the Lamp Chop on the left and the Bronzino and Tilapia pictured below. All entrees in both the fish and meat category were served with some nice looking mashed potatoes and broccoli rabe.
I decided to go with the ultimate Italian meal, Spaghetti and Nunzio’s Homemade Meatballs. There were four decent sized meatballs (it’s important to me that there is enough meatball to match the amount of pasta). I need not have worried this evening because the portion of spaghetti served was nowhere near what I have seen in most restaurants. The meatballs were very good. It has almost become the norm that there is enough to take home. I did not leave hungry but there was never hope that this would make two meals. It was good so I guess we could say they served quality over quantity.
Since none of us had an appetizer or salad we all had room for dessert and I chose the Tartufo Affogato, chocolate& vanilla ice cream encased in a ball of espresso and sambuca with strawberries and pineapple surrounding it. It was also drizzled with chocolate and made for a nice ending to the meal.
All of the others selected the Blueberry Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream. I am not a huge blueberry fan but all of my dining companions were raving about this dessert. They thought the tart, which they described as being like a pancake or waffle in texture, was absolutely delicious. I even heard Joe B. say “this one is special”. Lots of contented sounds surrounding this dish.
Chef Nunzio Patruno stopped by the table to see if we were enjoying our meal. I think that’s always a nice touch when the Chef/Owner comes out to greet his customers.
Nunzio’s certainly holds it’s own with the many other fine dining spots in Collingswood.