Redbankgreen_screenThe name is Italian for ‘eleven,’ as in 11 West River Road, Rumson.

The Jersey section of yesterday’s New York Times dropped in at Undici in Rumson and came away favorably impressed by the new Tuscan-themed eatery.


Actually, reviewer David Corcoran writes that Victor Rallo’s new eatery (he also owns Basil T’s Brewery and Italian Grill in Red Bank) “made us melt.”

In a laudatory piece with a few notes of hesistation, Corcoran says chef Giovanni Atzori, a 45-year-old native of Rome,

delivers solid, straight-ahead, high-priced favorites that don’t break any molds but do go down nicely with the atmosphere

Corcoran describes that atmosphere, at least that of the first floor, as “movie-set Tuscan farmhouse,” and it appears he means that as praise. And while he’s clearly less impressed by the dining area on the second floor, he gushes that the bar is “one of the state’s most inviting — hung with glorious, industrial-size salamis and cheeses that would make you hungry even if you’d just finished eating.”

Appetizers: big enough to make a meal themselves, Corcoran says, and they feature “the best prosciutto I’ve ever tasted, here or in Italy, the 18-month-aged product of Fratelli Galloni, outside Parma.”

Pizza: “terrific.”

Fava bean salad: “hits all the right notes”

Pasta: “what’s not to like? Penne came with a muscular puttanesca sauce, and the gnocchi and spaghetti served as sides with other dishes were tender and precisely cooked.”

Alas, he’s less impressed by the main ingredients the pastas were sidings for:

A short rib was robust, ropy and fatty but not particularly generous for $36; and a skewer of the large shrimp called gamberoni were meaty, garlicky and beautifully charred on both of our visits, but overcooked on one of them. A special entree, two whole quail, were weighed down by a gummy bread stuffing.

Desserts: “had more flair than the standard Italian fare.”

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