Robbinsville-Allentown Road, Routes 130 and 526, Robbinsville, N.J.
For the first time in me HUNGRY! history, I am posting a photo of someone other than myself or Kris! Our friends, Dan & Ellen, met us at Villa Barone in Robbinsville, NJ for Italian food on Saturday night: The restaurant was mobbed - although we had a reservation at 7pm, it took almost a half hour to be seated and another 20 minutes before our server even told us the long list of specials. I was in the mood for seafood, so we ordered the Traditional Clams Casino and Fried Calamari for our appetizers. Clams were juicy from the addition of a delicious red sauce: Huge rings of calamari were extremely tender but I would have preferred a crispier coating:We stole several of Dan's mussels (also covered in red sauce) and they were excellent - I mopped up every drop of the mussel broth with my bread. For my entree, I had the Seafood Combination (clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, and even a lobster tail) in a red sauce over linguine. It was exactly what I wanted, the seafood cooked nicely, pasta al dente, all tossed with a perfect amount of their excellent red/marinara sauce. The portion was so huge that I could only finish half of my entree: Kris had the Veal Sorrentino (veal medallions with eggplant, prosciutto, mozzarella with marinara sauce). My husband normally gives me a bite of his food to try but I had no chance with his veal that night - the plate was licked clean in minutes: Dan's osso bucco special (braised veal shanks served with risotto) looked mouthwatering from across the table - no wonder they sold out mid-service. Both Kris and I were tempted to dig the luscious marrow out of the giant shank bone left on Dan's plate, but decided against it (in favor of being civilized in the presence of company). Not to worry, they'll be more opportunities to suck bone marrow like barbarians in the future. The service was slow, but to be expected on a busy Saturday night at a popular neighborhood restaurant. The leisurely pace was perfect for us - we had a lot of catching up to do with our friends. Our patience was rewarded when they brought us a complimentary dessert platter with authentic melt-in-your-mouth tiramisu and some kind of Italian tart (yummy):We were having such a great time that we totally outstayed our welcome (romantic lighting suddenly replaced with harsh lights at 11pm sharp), but the night was still young so we headed down the road to their sister restaurant, Santino's Bar One, for some drinks and loud music, where Kris could showcase some of his excellent dance moves! The Verdict: Reservations a must on weekend nights. Order anything and everything with the red sauce!