Eating Through Italy, I Mean Rumson
Undici Restaurant provides the Italian atmosphere and the cuisine to match.
The other day, I had the pleasure of traveling to Italy for work. It was everything I remembered about Italy. The food, wine, rustic atmosphere, stone fired bricks, and the smell of a wood burning fireplace.
Luckily for me, I didn't have to take a plane to get there. Just a walk away at Undici Restaurant in Rumson, people who have a love for Italy, like myself, can visit one of the most unique culinary experiences in Monmouth County.
Undici Restaurant completely transformed the building they moved into. I was a big fan of the previous restaurant, and was completely in awe when I walked into Undici for the first time. Once beyond the large wooden door and wrought iron trimmings, I was serenaded with the smells, sounds, and sites of Italy.
Traveling through the brick and wood adorned restaurant, I was finally seated upstairs where if I hadn't just been at work, might have felt like I was living in a villa on the Italian countryside. The waiter then set down delicious chickpeas that when combined with their Italian bread and delicious Italian olive oil, was the beginning of this culinary vacation.
Undici is known for delivering the freshest ingredients with food that actually tastes like it was made in Italy. The Taglierino was ordered as an appetizer. It is a typical Tuscan cutting board with Coach Farms goat cheese, olives, dried sausage, almonds, fresh fruit, and crispy toasts. I was able to enjoy this even more with a bottle of red wine from their extensive Italian wine collection. After clearing the Tuscan cutting board, I was afraid someone might finish the figs on me so I ate rather fast. Then, it was onto the main course.
Ever since Undici opened, I've heard all about their wood burning oven that is heated to 800 degrees to make classic pizza napoletana style pizzas. The handmade pizzas are put in the oven for only a few minutes until they are cooked to perfection. Out of many pizzas on the menu, I chose the arugula e prosciutto pizza. This pizza caught my eye and tastebuds because one of my favorite food items is arugula and one of my second favorite food items is prosciutto. Perfect. Other than my two favorite foods, the pizza is also adorned with bufala mozzarella, pecorino-romano, grape tomatoes, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil.
Of course, my pizza was one of the last to arrive at the table. As I saw all of the other dishes, I debated whether I had made the right choice. I mean, the Undici Panini with grilled Bell and Evans chicken breast, fire roasted pepper, Coach Farms goat cheese (a favorite of mine), and basil pesto on a house made wood oven rustic roll looked extremely appetizing as it came to the table. What if I had chosen wrong?
That thought was quickly dispelled when my pizza finally arrived. Cooked to perfection with beautiful fresh arugula and prosciutto di parma decorating the top of my pizza, I couldn't wait to dig in. Once I took the first bite, the amazing combination of garlic and olive oil on warm bread wafted over me. Along with the spicy arugula and salty prosciutto, this pizza expressed how serious Undici takes their Italian food.
Despite wanting to, I was unable to finish my pizza and decided to bring it home to share with my fiancé. Unfortunately for him, I put the pizza in the oven as soon as I came home and ended up leaving him only a small piece.
So the next time you're craving to venture off to Italy for the food and atmosphere, but it's just not happening anytime soon, travel the much shorter distance to Undici Restaurant in Rumson. You don't even need to pack your passport, just your appetite.