Monday, October 08, 2007

Trattoria Andrea

Regrettably, I have been behind on keeping up with the restaurant blog: work (and more work) has kept me too busy. That aside, let me say a few words about what I regard as the best Italian restaurant in South Jersey. Folks who have spent words here know this is a claim that one should not make lightly: South Jersey is full of Italian-Americans and there are some very good restaurants in the area.

Trattoria Andrea is special. I have been there several times and it remains a personal favorite. I had occasion to dine there last Saturday and the meal was no disappointment. Neither my wife nor I cracked the menu: the specials captured us. I ate a bowl of roasted red pepper soup with goat cheese and lump grab meet. The soup was well-flavored, accompanied by warm homemade bread. This course was followed by long Italian hot peppers with sharp provolone, garlic, tomatoes and oil: a personal favorite, again, great on the bread. For the main course, I had a seafood risotto with scallops, mussels, clams, shrimp, calamari, porcini mushrooms and broccoli rabe. The seafood was sweet, the risotto was perfect and the extra flavor from the rabe hit the spot. A small confession: I do not generally care for risotto and almost never order it while dining out. This should give some indication of just how good this dish was.

My only complaint is that there was too much food. My fault for eating everything put in front of me, though I fear that leftovers would have left me longing for the original meal again. Accompanied by an Alfa Crux from Argentine (Tempranillo, Merlot, Cab blend: a big red scoring a Parker 94), this was a great meal. A wonderful homecoming after several weeks in Asia. If this meal description resonated with you, go there. You won't be disappointed. The address is 413 Stokes Road, Medford, NJ.