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Fascino...April 2019


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From the first time I went a few years ago, I've been a fan. I've been there several times since my first, and it is still a very nice space/place, nice ambiance, quiet, you might say even a touch romantic due to the lighting, dimness, and the "softness" of the place. I brought a 2016 Hess Estate Cabernet...which...side note...is drinking very well...excellent...for a $25 bottle of wine. Let it breathe, decant it if possible, but once this opens up, it is drinking better than many bottles I've had for 3 times the price! So, as soon as I got there, I asked them to open it and let it breathe.

 

We started with the PEI mussels appetizer -- very nice, done very well, a nice bite to the broth. We also had the tuna tartare, which was excellent, it had a lime flavored sauce, with some diced fruit, a small amount fish egg, and some seasoning herbs. It was very nice and I enjoyed it a lot. 

 

For entrees, we went with sea scallops and the black angus hangar steak...the scallops came with a risotto and a dark mushroom sauce. The risotto was done perfectly. Risotto can be a make or break dish -- done right, it's excellent, but if not, it can be a disaster, very easy to tell it's not done right. The steak came with a lemon flavored spinach, some parmesan potatoes, which was very tasty and loads of flavor, and it came with a herb, seasoned light sauce. The steak was also loaded with flavor and taste -- done perfectly! For dessert, we had apple crostata, which came with a caramel gelato and a nice caramel sauce.

 

The service was very good, patient, as we took our time, relaxed, was having a very nice time, etc. They were attentive, professional, cleared plates and refilled water on cue, before being asked, overall just very good. The menu is excellent -- nice range, broad scope within the categories, strong with pasta, very nice flair, and simply put -- this is an excellent restaurant. As always, I liked it very much and I will absolutely go back!

 

In my opinion, Fascino is one of the best restaurants in Montclair and the surrounding area. They do what they do and they do it extremely well! 

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If you get lucky there are a few spots across the street down the road about 100 yards in front of the music store that are legal but with no meter. So it seems sometimes people don't realize they are actually spots. Or we just got super lucky last time we went.

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There is a municipal lot one block away in one direction, and another one also one block away in the other direction. More importantly, less than a block away -- is the old Lackawana Train Station, which not only houses the Pig and Prince gastropub restuarant, but has been completely renovated -- and all of that parking is open and free!

 

Yes, of course parking is an issue in Montclair -- as it is in Ridgewood, Westwood, Ramsey, Rutherford, and so on. Any town with a walk'able, store-front, retail, etc., area...is going to have issues with parking. 

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  • 2 years later...

So hey this place is pretty good. In the "modern Italian" genre. Food reminded me a lot of the old Dell'Anima/Anfora school (where we were regulars when we lived in that nabe).

One thing that I dislike about the dining scene generally - its BYO - which great. Economic. But one thing I want from people who are making interesting food is to see what they think is interesting in Wine so I can try new things.  Not an option here.

Only had the small room to the left of the door open last night.

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