Sunday, December 12, 2010

At Teggiano Ristorante in South Hackensack

chiantiImage by JonathanCohen via Flickr

Teggiano Ristorante will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, but I won't be there raising a glass of chianti to its future health.

Oh, there was nothing wrong with the food we had Saturday evening and the service was good, though a bit slow. But this long-established Italian restaurant misses being a place you want to return to time and again to tuck into a great plate of pasta and a glass of red wine.

The restaurant is named after the hometown of Chef-Owner Luigi Bruno, who offers a menu of standard appetizers, pastas and entrees.

We ordered a salad for two, two entrees, a side dish of sauteed spinach, a glass of chianti and soft drinks, and the bill totaled more than $90. Luckily, I had a coupon for a 20% discount I received by joining the restaurant's e-mail club.

I had hoped the salad of baby greens, goat cheese and dried cranberries ($12.50) wouldn't have too much dressing, but it had too little, with nothing left on the plate to sop up with the half a piece of rather ordinary Italian bread I ate. My son loved the toasted garlic-bread slices in the same basket.

My wife and I shared a broiled seafood combination that came with a small portion of ziti in a plain tomato sauce ($28.95). The red snapper fillet, shrimp, scallops, king crab leg and claw, lobster tail and baked and stuffed clams were moist.

Our son enjoyed but couldn't finish his broiled filet mignon (hold the mushrooms), served with big chunks of roasted potato and ziti ($24.95). The spinach in the side dish we ordered was fresh, but the portion was tiny -- just about three forkfuls ($5).

I didn't notice the price of the chianti, but the glass was full. I expected the food to fly out of the kitchen, because only two others tables were occupied during most of our visit, but we had to wait, first for the salad and then for the rest of the meal.

Teggiano Ristorante,  310 Huyler St., South Hackensack; 
201-487-3884. Web site: Established 1986

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