|Shrimp and Clams over Risotto ($18), above, and Whole Wheat Penne with Broccoli Rabe ($16) were among the dishes we enjoyed on Saturday night at Green Olive, our consolation prize after we discovered Bocconi Restaurant in Hackensack had closed.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Little did we know after we enjoyed another terrific meal at Bocconi Restaurant in mid-September the Italian-American BYO in Hackensack would close suddenly a couple of weeks later.
This message appeared on the restaurant's Facebook page on Oct. 2:
"We are sad to inform everyone that Bocconi is permanently closed! We appreciate all of our customers. You will be greatly missed by Frank [an owner], Mario [the chef] and staff."
Empty dining room
But we hadn't seen the Facebook entry, and late Saturday afternoon, we parked in the lot of the medical building across Essex Street, and then crossed on foot, carrying a bottle of Italian red wine and a pound of organic whole wheat spaghetti Frank had said he would cook and serve to us.
Then, we saw the restaurant was empty of all of its furnishing, and one of the letters in the "bocconi" neon sign was burned out.
Frank's message on Facebook didn't even hint at why Bocconi had closed.
Was it the impossibly small parking lot, the rent or another issue?
I immediately thought of an alternative, The Green Olive, an Italian-American restaurant on Passaic Street in Hackensack we've never tried.
We drove over and had a nice dinner of salad, whole wheat pasta and seafood, sharing all of the dishes, and our son ordered a dessert with ice cream.
Green Olive prices are moderate, as they were at Bocconi, but the latter served bigger portions and also had the edge on preparation of the food.
The Green Olive, 455 Passaic St., Hackensack; 201-487-0759.
The Green Olive, A Restaurant
Our last meal at Bocconi:
A leisurely dinner with our wine
|At The Green Olive, three of us shared two salads, above and below ($10 and $11).|
|Sole Florentine stuffed with spinach ($22).|
|The Green Olive served us complimentary crostini and olives, but not bread.|
|No Italian wines were available by the glass. I ordered a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon for $8, and then another, but the second glass wasn't served before I finished eating.|
|The Green Olive is a restaurant with a dining room and bar, which are separated by a glass-topped partition, below.|
|The shocker. All of the furnishings have been removed from Bocconi on Essex Street in Hackensack. In better days, below.|
|A half-portion of Bocconi's Fettuccine Putanesca.|