Saturday, May 23, 2015

Giulia's Kitchen has new chefs, but the food is just as appealing

Cod Persillade on a bed of purple cabbage and leeks at Giulia's Kitchen, a Cliffside Park restaurant with new chefs and a new menu, described as contemporary comfort food.


The unsightly and noisy construction project across the street from Giulia's Kitchen in Cliffside Park could have something to do with why the dining room was nearly empty on Thursday night.

Slowed by rush-hour traffic, we were a little late for our 5:30 p.m. reservation, and the big hole in the ground has eliminated metered parking spaces on Anderson Avenue.

Forget about parking on the narrow side streets, which are packed with residents' cars and SUVs.

I finally found a space on Anderson, in front of a nail salon, but had to ask a cop if it was OK: The meter was covered by a plastic bag.

We were the only couple in the dining room of this neighborhood spot, and another customer sat at the bar in the back.

We had a terrific dinner of salad and fish, with only minor disappointments, and the meal was a relative bargain, thanks to a Living Social voucher, another sign the restaurant isn't doing as well as it could.

Branzino is a staple of restaurant menus, but Giulia's Kitchen managed to grill the farmed fish until the skin turned golden and crispy, and still deliver moist flesh. Delicious.

A wonderful salad of Grilled Corn, Tomatoes and Avocado.

Giulia's Grilled Romaine Heart sounded terrific, but was served still refrigerator cold, and the two big pieces were difficult to cut with a knife. The best thing about this salad were the anchovies.

I ordered a glass of Nero D'Avola Reserva from Sicily for $8, but was served only a half-glass. 

No other table was occupied during our meal.

I am sure the Pyramids in Egypt were completed in less time than this residential-retail project in the heart of Cliffside Park -- across the street from Giulia's Kitchen -- another sign of incompetent leadership in a town that has been ruled for decades by the Calabrese family.

Salad, cod and branzino

We started with a terrific Grilled Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad for my wife ($10). 

The salad, crowned by a large shrimp, was dressed in balsamic vinaigrette and rosemary aioli, a mayonnaise.

My salad, Giulia's Grilled Romaine ($8), would have been better if it had been cut into four pieces and spent more time on the grill to take away the chill from the refrigerator.

I couldn't have been happier with my entree, described as Fresh Top Loin Cod, a wild fish fillet, covered with fresh herbs and served over a warm salad of savory chopped cabbage and leeks ($24).

And I asked my wife to let my try some of her delightfully crispy Grilled Branzino, which was served whole with Ratatouille ($25). 

The farmed fish also is available as a fillet.

Our last visit

We visited Giulia's Kitchen last June, when Chef Michael Ostros came out to greet us at our table.

Chef Mattia Miradoli, 34, originally opened Giulia's, named for his daughter, in March 2013, but died unexpectedly in September of that year.

Thi Bay Miradoli, the chef's sister, is now manager of the restaurant, which reopened in May 2014.

Ostros is gone now, but the restaurant still serves many of Mattia Miradoli's original recipes with the help of a kitchen crew under the family's culinary guidance:

Fred, who was Mattia's sous chef; Moises, who was hired by Ostros; and Juanita.

Then as now, we purchased a Living Social dinner voucher for $35 that entitled us to $70 worth of food, plus tax and tip on the full amount.

Click on the following link to read about our first meal at Giulia's:


Giulia's Kitchen, 696 Anderson Ave., Cliffside Park; 201-945-1680. Open for dinner only. Closed Sundays. Liquor license.

Parking meters are in force until 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

Web site: Contemporary comfort food


  1. If you follow them on FB, you also can get 10% off meals with trivia questions they post from time to time.

  2. That was a proper wine pour.

    1. Only a restaurant owner greedy for profit would call a half-glass of wine "proper." Like me, most customers regard it as a "rip-off."

      In Montreal, Canada, which we visit yearly, restaurants specify the number of ounces in a glass of wine, and usually, you have a choice of, let's say, 5 ounces for a certain price and 7 ounces for a higher price.


Please try to stay on topic.