Tuesday, April 28, 2015

At Bocconi in Hackensack, a tasty dinner of vegetables, fish and wine

Grey Sole Oreganata with Shrimp and White Wine, one of two wild-caught fish entrees at Bocconi Restaurant in Hackensack.


The list of specials at Bocconi Restaurant in Hackensack would please anyone who doesn't eat meat or poultry.

Vegetables, salads and shellfish appetizers are the prelude to nearly a dozen pasta and seafood entrees on the one-page listing.

On Saturday, we visited the moderately priced Italian-American restaurant for the third time, and though we had a nice dinner, saw some limitations.

A half-dozen fish entrees are offered, but only two are wild caught, grey sole and tuna.

I'm watching my cholesterol intake, and found Bocconi was less accommodating than on earlier visits when I asked the kitchen to hold the butter.

And the specials menu didn't list a small block of tangy goat cheese that came with a wonderful appetizer of beets and arugula.

Salmon Grilled Over Arugula & Cherry Tomato.

Vegetables, fish and salad

We started with appetizers of Asparagus Gratinato ($9.95) for my wife and Red Beet Carpaccio for me ($12.50).

My wife wanted wild-caught Grey Sole Oreganata ($18.95) for her entree, the dish I had on our first visit, and I chose the second wild fish, tuna, on our last visit.

So, looking for something else, I was left to pick one of the farmed fish, and I chose Salmon Grilled Over Arugula & Cherry Tomato ($20.95).

I asked for the fish to be prepared medium to medium rare, but it was delivered cooked through, though still moist.

When compared to its wild cousin, artificially colored farmed salmon isn't a very exciting fish -- raw or cooked.

At least it was a nice portion, and came with a great salad of peppery arugula, my favorite green.

The other farmed seafood offered are branzino, tilapia and shrimp. 


Bocconi Restaurant, 363 Essex St., Hackensack (near Prospect Avenue); 201-342-3888. Web site: bocconifood.com

BYO. On weekends, reservations aren't necessary.

A tiny lot off Prospect means you're better off parking across Essex Street at the medical building with a Starbucks Coffee on the ground level.

An appetizer of Asparagus Gratinato with Grated Cheese and White Wine Sauce. We liked the small dish of pitted olives served with it. The waiter said the asparagus were made with only a "little" butter.

A block of tangy goat cheese crowning Red Beet Carpaccio, another appetizer, wasn't listed on the specials menu, and the price shown also was incorrect ($9.95 on the menu, $12.50 on the receipt)

Bocconi Restaurant is a BYO with about 50 seats. I brought a bottle of Italian red wine.

Crusty Italian bread comes with butter and for dipping, extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and grated cheese.

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