Sette Cucina Italiana

  • Posted on August 1, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Sette Cucina Italiana in Bernardsville is where the Husband and I dined with two foodie friends this past Tuesday evening.

From the moment you walk in, this quaint BYOB evokes the spirit of Italy. There are only about 8 tables so even on a Tuesday night we were grateful to have reservations. I know, even as I begin to write this, that this may come off as a fairly negative review but it’s not. Everything was good, desserts were outstanding. I’d go back again, but would probably wait until the menu changes.

The menu on the website is the current one. There was one appetizer special of broccoli rabe stuffed with cheese and fried (no price was given when it was described to us). It was very tasty, but the portion, like the portions of all the appetizers, were fairly small and not really sized for sharing. We also got and shared a braised artichoke filled with ragusano cheese and a buffalo mozzarella and tomato. The artichokes were a little undercooked but tasty. The fresh mozzarella was really the standout, simple and fresh.

Bread service as a single sesame topped roll with an herbed dipping oil. We all agreed that there was too much crust and crunch and not enough bread-y goodness. No additional bread was offered after the first.

For mains, I had the Zuppa di Mare. The Husband and one friend had the pork loin rolled with fontina cheese and pancetta in a cream truffle sauce; our friend also had the cod wrapped in parchment. All three entrees also came with roasted potatoes and braised red cabbage. The seafood was all perfectly cooked but the broth was lacking some oomph. Usually you want to sop up all the sauce with some bread. Aside from the lack of bread to do so with, it just didn’t seem to be worth the calories. The pork loin wasn’t bad, by any means, it just wasn’t very interesting, either. It was also a touch overcooked, which made the texture a little less than perfect. The cod was also tasty, but again, nothing spectacular. I was told that the rosemary in the dish dominated the flavor profile. I didn’t try the potatoes or red cabbage but I did notice that everyone left some cabbage.

Desserts, all made in house, were a pleasant improvement over the mains and were absolutely delicious. We shared three for the table- Millefoglie Layered puff pastry with a lemon custard, orange Panna Cotta and Profiterol, cream puffs with chocolate sauce. Our friends were fondest of the profiterol, which I thought had just a bit too much chocolate sauce on top. The panna cotta was deemed outstanding by the Husband, and reason enough for him to return.The lemon custard in pastry was also delicious.

The desserts were impressive enough that we all said that we would give it at least another change but again probably not till the menu changes.

A note on the service. We’re not sticklers for white glove, five star service, but there is a basic requirement of being able to communicate well, if not clearly, with those who are staffing our table. For most of our meal, we were attended to by the owner/manager/executive chef/pastry chef. But when he was unavailable, the busser who assisted was not able to communicate well. Wine was almost poured when we asked for it to be chilled and we had a hard time getting his attention when we were ready to have it poured. He certainly tried to be helpful, but the language barrier was definitely present.

We had a delightful evening with lovely company, a good meal, ending on just the right, sweet note. Although we won’t be rushing back to Sette Cucina Italina, we could certainly recommend it for a satisfactory meal to anyone in the area.

2 Comments on Sette Cucina Italiana

  1. Rosie says:

    Mia Sorella, 73 Mine Brook Rd, Bernardsville (908-630-0700) has also recently opened in Bernardsville. Have you been there?

  2. Demented Betty says:

    no, we haven’t made it there yet.

Leave a Reply