Table Hopping with Rosie
Restaurant News – njmonthly.com
June 01, 2011 03:37 PM ET | Rosie Saferstein
LA PERGOLA, MILLBURN
Large glass windows beckon you to La Pergola, a new northern Italian BYO restaurant at 120 Essex Street, Millburn. It is named for the wooden lattice structure/gazebo common to the Italian countryside, which is used for climbing plants and can provide a protected sitting area. The large, cavernous room was once a bridal store, and it’s decorated with colorful abstract pictures. Although the restaurant was full when we dined here, to our surprise it was not noisy.
The menu features Italian staples such as pasta e fagioli, buffalo mozzarella and tomato, fusilli Genovese, fettuccine Bolognese, and veal Toscana or Milanese. Vegetarians are not forgotten; they can make a meal from fresh appetizers such as stuffed artichokes, grilled vegetables, and asparagus Milanese, as well as salad and pasta options. We were happy with our two fish entrées: a special of grouper with leeks, shiitake mushrooms, and champagne sauce, and a whole branzino, which was brought to the table for our approval before it was cooked. The house-made tiramisu surrounded with strawberry syrup was deliciously rich and was one of the better renditions of this frequently seen dessert that we have encountered in some time. La Pergola is open Monday through Friday for lunch and daily for dinner. For reservations, call 973-376-6838.