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Description – Italian Restaurant – standard Italian fare, casual café atmosphere, Outdoor seating available.Entrée price range $10 – $14+.
Services – Italian cuisine. Delivery, BYOB
Website – www.cafemichelina.com
Address – 423 Bloomfield St, Hoboken, New Jersey ( NJ ) 07030-4810
Telephone – (201) 659-3663
It was a Wednesday night, and a friend of mine was craving an early Italian dinner, so we decided on a location that was convenient for both of us. Cafe Michelina fit the bill.
At 6:00PM, when we entered the restaurant on 5th and Bloomfield, and we were surprised that there were only a few empty tables available. On this night, they happened to be expecting a huge surprise party. Luckily, we were seated against the wall at a small table for two.
The menus were brought to us in a timely fashion. It took a few minutes to decide what we wanted for entrees as we perused their rather tantalizing selection. I was torn between the pasta primavera and the chicken Murphy.
While we were mulling over our main course, the waitress came by with some complimentary brushetta which was bit disappointing. Way too much oil was used to the point it soaked the bread and you couldn’t even taste the tomatos. However, redemption was scored when the bus boy brought over a steaming loaf of hot Italian bread. It was yummy. (Wait, did I just say “steaming loaf”?)
Getting back to our selections. For appetizers, we chose to go with the mussels. There are three preparation options: white wine sauce, marinara hot or sweet. I would have loved to get the hot but my friend doesn’t enjoy foods that are too spicy, so we went with the sweet.
Addtionally, we also ordered some broccoli salad. The broccoli salad there is typically scrumptious. For our entrees I went with Chicken Murphy which came with a side of pasta and my friend ordered her favorite, shrimp parmigiana also with pasta.
When our appetizers came out the mussels were steaming. They were very tasty. However, next time I’ll leave my friend home and pick the hot sauce. It was certainly lacking in some flavor.
The broccoli salad was delectable as usual but definitely needed to be hotter. Luke warm broccoli is not the best.
Soon after, our entrees appeared. Huge portions were served which is good for the price (average cost around 12-13 dollars). There were several large shrimp on top of a heaping pile of spaghetti. (Did I just say heaping pile?) My friend still rates this as her favorite in town.
The chicken Murphy was excellent and flavorful. There were multiple chicken breast filets along with hot peppers and mushrooms. This has a bite, so those with an intolerance to hot foods should avoid it (or at least not eat the peppers).
Although a tad on the full side, we ended the good meal by sharing a dessert. The dessert menu contained generic listings with pictures from some commercial distributor. What was comical was that some of the deserts had a big orange x through them.
I inquired if they had any home-made desserts or these were are only choices. I was informed that they had tiramasu and cannolis. Tiramasu it was. We got a very large piece, big enough for three to share. Not a huge shocker that the two of us finished it. Hmmm. It was on the light side but had a wonderful flavor. Just enough coffee flavor but not overbearing.
I should note that this restaurant is BYOB but they do offer your standard assortment of soda and coffee. Overall, the atmosphere is nothing spectacular; a bit loud and dark inside. But the food MORE than makes up for it. During nice weather, they have plastic outdoor seating. Our server was efficient and professional for the most part.
Don’t be fooled that the fact that just because it’s not on Washington St. that will be there is tons of availability. On the weekends and often during the week there people waiting for tables.
We recommend giving Cafe Michelina a try. Let us know what you think!!