Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, Meadowlands Style

Today I ventured with two co-workers to a meeting with a client in Moonachie (pronounced Moo-nock-ee), NJ, near the Meadowlands. After conducting business for two hours, we were hungry and headed out to lunch. We wound up at an Italian restaurant called Dolce Novita, which roughly translates to "Disco Inferno," although my Italian is a bit rusty.

But anyway, here's what caught my eye at this particular joint:
  • Overall comfortable ambience
  • White table cloth tables and waiters wearing jackets and bowties
  • Fresh warm bread with olive oil was served to get us started
  • Nice selection of Italian food on the menu-- pastas, seafood, etc.
  • "Business Lunch Specials"-- each dish included soup and salad and was reasonably priced
  • Fully stocked bar with a disco ball
Wait.... Say what?

How, exactly, does a disco ball get thrown into the mix at a fine-dining Italian restaurant? That was a glaring decorative faux pas. I'm guessing somebody missed the first class of Italian Restaurant Design 101 in college. Or perhaps somebody wanted to take a risk and be different. Or maybe that's just a North Jersey thing that I just wouldn't understand. In any event, it left a weird impression in my mind.

Ironically, the disco ball symbolized the overall inconsistency with the restaurant. Some other things I noticed were that the outside was very blah (click here for a photo and review of the food, which was all in all pretty good at least), the waiters didn't come around to fill up drinks, there were three different air fresheners in the bathroom (and none of them seemed to work, if you smell what I'm cookin'), and the Business Specials menu contained mainly dishes with red sauce that could easily be disastrously messy.

Ok, perhaps I've gone too far. I'm not trying to bash the restaurant, it was actually better than average, but I just happened to pick up on those little quirks, not really a big deal. After all, the place is Stayin' Alive, isn't it?

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