At first, it may seem perplexing that a gourmet Italian restaurant, Pasquale’s Ristorante Italiano, would choose to locate in Edison’s “Little India.” But then again, when I heard the restaurant is a member of the Mehtani family of restaurants, who was I to question location. I had a feeling I was in for a wonderful dining experience.
My first impression of Pasquale’s was how comfortable and relaxing the environment felt. This was due in no small part to the sincere and friendly affect of everyone that took care of our party.
I believe the maître de must have channeled a past life as a mixologist in NYC when he produced our amazing cocktails. Mine was a Key Lime Martini that used crushed graham cracker in place of salt around the rim. If that sounds a little unusual, I agree, but what a perfect combination it turned out to be and quite the work of art.
Before our official appetizers arrived, we sampled a diced tomato white pizza that had such a clean, light taste. We then started in earnest on the Antipasto Freddo containing prosciutto, mozzarella, sausage, artichoke, ricotta, soft and hard cheeses, and olives, Calamari Fritti (with balsamic aioli, and marinara sauce), and the Bruschetta Sampler containing artichoke scampi, truffled mushrooms, mozzarella and tomatoes over crostini bread. Salivating yet?
The pasta course found us sampling Porcini Mushroom Ravioli in Pomodoro Sauce, Fresh Gnocchi in a Gorgonzola Cream Sauce, and Fresh Cavatelli with Broccoli Rabe in a Garlic and Oil Sauce with a touch of White Wine. After having dishes like this, you understand exactly what Executive Chef Pasquale Presa means when he says that ‘this is his passion and his love.” His passion, love and twelve years of hotel experience are expressed in every dish.
We cleansed our pallets with a New Jersey Blueberry Granita as we anticipated the main course, Salmon Saltimbocca, Veal Principessa, and Stuffed Chicken Rollatini. All three competed for top honors and ended in a three-way tie. Tremendo!
One of the challenging parts of a night like this is having room for dessert (it’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it). On the not-to-be-missed list were Nonna’s Ricotta Cheesecake, Perugina Chocolate Mousse, and Maria’s Tiramisu.
Jersey Bites was honored to be part of this experience. It was “Lajawaab” something truly special in Little India.
Pasquale’s Ristorante Italiano
1655-200 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ
Phil Sikora: In his own words “I have a T-shirt from a club for owners of Russian motorcycles with a motto that translates to: “Eat to ride; ride to eat.” I’ve taken that to heart. And so the stories will unfold.” Phil is a motorcycle enthusiast and System Engineer for AT&T. He works in Middletown and lives in Paramus and will be reporting on his culinary adventures in his “Reviews from the Road” series for Jersey Bites.