Cafe Michelina

Italian Restaurant

SEE RECENT REVIEW BELOW

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
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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.

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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.

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The broccoli salad was delectable as usual but definitely needed to be hotter. Luke warm broccoli is not the best.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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!!

31 Responses

  1. hobokenforlife says:

    i have to agree. i went there after reading a couple of reviews. i have to say i was a little bit dissapointed with some of the staff. im married and have small children and personally i dont like eating outside while someone is smoking within three feet of my food especially next to my kids. its gross!. go take a walk. and if you care about your service please dont let me see you talking on the phone for a good 15 minutes in front of customers, it doesnt look professional. sure the food is decently priced for a good amount served. but id rather pay extra and go eat somewhere sanitary or more professional. if this is a family owned business as mentioned above id highly recommend the owner to do something about the staff because he clearly doesnt see how unprofessional and ignorant they look. Also while i was waiting to take my kid to the bathroom i noticed one of the servers taking a dirty napkin out from a bin and proceeding to go wipe a table that just left to seat a new one with. I NEVER want to go back to this place again.

    • animal_lover says:

      I can imagine the staff there writing their side … of how awful the table with the mother and children were, how disgusting they left the bathroom and how she behaved as such a dipwad. I daresay they will miss you.

      This restaurant is most always packed. Go figure… [quote comment=”161681″]i have to agree. i went there after reading a couple of reviews. i have to say i was a little bit dissapointed with some of the staff. im married and have small children and personally i dont like eating outside while someone is smoking within three feet of my food especially next to my kids. its gross!. go take a walk. and if you care about your service please dont let me see you talking on the phone for a good 15 minutes in front of customers, it doesnt look professional. sure the food is decently priced for a good amount served. but id rather pay extra and go eat somewhere sanitary or more professional. if this is a family owned business as mentioned above id highly recommend the owner to do something about the staff because he clearly doesnt see how unprofessional and ignorant they look. Also while i was waiting to take my kid to the bathroom i noticed one of the servers taking a dirty napkin out from a bin and proceeding to go wipe a table that just left to seat a new one with. I NEVER want to go back to this place again.[/quote]

  2. mcspacebar says:

    My girlfriend & I used to go to this place on a semi regular basis.
    The food was ok.
    The service gradually got worse & worse.
    the last time we went there we were seated, and sat there no lie for 30 minutes. no one got us a menu, a glass of water or even made eye contact with us from the staff.
    we got up and left, and have never returned.

    Leo’s all the way for us.

    or Matgarita’s when it is not too busy.

  3. lucky51 says:

    food is excellent, and if some people complained about the wait is because they do everything fresh to order. I don’t want my food microwaved.

  4. davidcdavid64 says:

    Ate there twice, never understood why it was so crowded. I recall bland being my take home. that was years ago.

  5. Dperez says:

    I love the food here but get really stressed out over the waiting and uncertainty of whether or not I’m going to get a table. This place really needs to be expanded or moved to a bigger location.

  6. Stabone130 says:

    I used to eat here 2x a month…and knew the wait time was just something you dealt with because they don’t take reservations and frequently have tables of 10+ (which you can reserve). But after a visit Friday where the host told us 45 minutes, which turned into an hour, which turned into 90 minutes, which turned into almost 2 hours……they’ve lost my business.

    My main gripe is that we would have gone somewhere else if they had just said “2 hour wait.” And when we ask for a basket of bread during our 2 hour wait, the host refused. then our table was given to someone who arrived AFTER us…..the host left his clipboard at our table outside and we could see clearly the table should have been ours. we asked to speak with a manager who was rude + quite frankly, just didn’t care.

    Its one thing to ask customers to be patient (which we were)…..its another thing to just not care about your customers. So we’ll take our business elsewhere. They lost loyal customers.

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