Simply stated, you’ll love Enoteca Ursino. This stylish restaurant with a creative Italian flair is located on the Kean University campus in Union in the state-of-the-art Center for Science, Technology & Mathematics. Convenient to major highways and mass transit lines, it is a perfect dining destination when visiting local theaters or whenever you are in the area and looking for a fabulous meal. Now open for lunch, happy hour, and dinner (and with convenient parking), we suggest you gather your group and make plans to visit. This spot will likely become one of your favorites.
Enoteca Ursino has a classic, yet contemporary, ambiance. The grand two-story windows invite guests look out on the scenic grounds. The main floor features a horseshoe-shaped bar and tasting room that accommodates up to 60 guests and overlooks the main dining room, which is located on the lower level, and seats up to 85 guests. While all spaces throughout the venue are available for private dining, parties of up to 10 may prefer the enclosed wine room, which offers a more intimate setting. The gracious wait staff is helpful and pleased to discuss the menu.
The restaurant, which serves farm-to-table cuisine is founded on the mission to provide locally sourced, sustainable dining in a totally approachable manner. Working closely with the university’s Liberty Hall Farm, Enoteca Ursino features fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients.
Executive Chef Scott Tolhurst has designed an Italian-inspired menu with classic and specialty pizzas, a great choice of starters, tempting entrees and house made pastas. The menu offers something for everyone and has choices to suit all dietary preferences.
We started our dining adventure with a sharing plate, Il Picollo, a delectable plate of artisanal salumi and formaggi. We were tempted order an appetizer of pan-seared octopus or veal meatballs but chose one of the salads with freshly picked greens as a starter. The Liberty Hall Farm Greens option is a delightful combination of sungold tomato, watermelon, radish, and cucumber with light balsamic vinaigrette. A distinctive pasta specialty that you won’t find anywhere else is their house made Agnolotti made with Fulper Farms ricotta on a bed of Jersey sweet corn with pancetta, finished with lemon verbena and lime zest. There’s a very nice selection of seafood and meat entrees. We selected the tender and flavorful oven-roasted Amish chicken, served with fingerling potato and baby lacinato kale with lemon and salsa romesco.
I appreciated the beverage program at Enoteca Ursino, which creates perfect pairings with the menu. The wine list is very impressive. As a matter of fact, the translation of the Italian word, enoteca is “wine repository.” The restaurant has a regional and terroir-driven wine list. There is also an exciting cocktail menu that includes drinks like the Germain Sailor (with Bluecoat gin, St. Germain, prosecco, rosé, ginger bitters, and mint) or the Rye Not (with High West rye, Six Grapes ruby port, aperol, and lemon). For those who prefer, there is bottled beer as well as draft selections like Stone IPA and Two Roads Saison.
A fine meal has a great finish, and dessert at Enoteca Ursino shouldn’t be missed. We suggest the special twist on the Italian zeppoli: the light, scrumptious Bombolinis with lemon ricotta and Meyer lemon sauce. They also serve a luscious chocolate torte, sorbet and ice cream. Relax over coffee or an aperitif and enjoy the wonderful ambiance that will convince you to return soon.
Did we mention happy hour? Drop by and relax at the bar or the high top tables in the lounge from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday to Friday. Order $6 wine by the glass, $4 draft beer, specialty cocktails, wood-fired pizzas (like margherita or Shibumi mushroom) and a wonderful variety of small plates.
Enoteca Ursino is a world-class dining experience. It is a part of the Terra Momo Restaurant Group, co-owned by Carlo and Raoul Momo. The group is renowned in the Princeton area for popular, exquisite eateries. “The Terra Momo Restaurant Group has always focused on superior hospitality and sustainable sourcing,” Carlo Momo has said. “Raoul and I are fortunate to have been able to unite with Kean University and Liberty Hall to create this new destination that is a testament to our company and community ethos.”
Enoteca Ursino Restaurant and Bar is located at 1075 Morris Avenue. Convenient parking is available. Enoteca Ursino joins the Terra Momo Restaurant Group in the addition to Eno Terra, a wine bar and restaurant, Mediterra, a Mediterranean restaurant featuring a Tapas Bar, Teresa’s Caffe, an artisan pizzeria and café and Terra Momo Bread Company, an artisan bread store.
1075 Morris Avenue
All photos are courtesy of Enoteca Ursino.