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60 Second Review: A’Putia Pastry Cafe

A’Putia Pastry Cafe – Quaint & Tasty!

Hoboken 60 second review A'PutiaToday’s Hoboken 60 Second Review is for A’Putia Pastry Cafe over at 200 Monroe Street and we say: A must!

This tiny spot at the corner of 2nd Street is unassuming from the outside, as well as in. From what I recall, it’s a new retail installation as well.

Here’s a snippit of why owner Giacomo d’Alessandro decided to open up: “After having spent time in the U.S, and in particular in the New York City area and having tasted cannoli pastries produced locally, decided it was time to introduce the true taste of Sicilian cannoli into the country.” (Which means they suck in the U.S.!)

The menu is has just a few items on it, but that’s okay. Take a look inside below:

Geniune Italian Cannoli at A’Putia Pastry Cafe in Hoboken

The two things we sampled were “home runs” in our opinion. For one, the Cannoli is imported from Italy. And I have to say that I have never ever liked cannolis around here. Something about the custard made me gag. However, this cannoli changed my mind 100% Crunchy, not overly sweet, but perfect all around. Worth going off low-carb to reward yourself!

A'Putia Cannoli Hoboken NJ

And next were the “Mezzaluna” quiches. We tried the ham & cheese as well as the tomato & blue cheese. Both were savory & fresh. The bonus was that they came with a super green salad on the side – perfectly dressed. A nice light lunch (under $7).

A'Putia quiche Hoboken NJ

We recommend you give A’Putia a shot. You’ll be surprised! Up next for us is a nice espresso or cappucino. Can’t wait!

Hoboken NJ

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60 Second Review: Anthony David’s

Anthony David’s – Why the remodel?

Anthony Davids Hoboken NJ 60 Second ReviewToday’s Hoboken 60 Second Review for Anthony David’s over at 10th & Bloomfield can be summed up: Why, exactly?

You see, we liked Anthony David’s just the was it was before. The newly remodeled space with “clean lines” lost much of the cozy charm it used to have (and seats less, meaning more of a wait).

However, they did expand operating hours, and now offer a daily brunch, which is a nice option.

And another big update is that they’re physically enlarging the space again – taking over the former legal office next door. So that may help offset the wait times in the future.

As far as the food – I was a bit upset that one of our favorite spicy sauces was no longer being made – which was the primary reason for our regular visits. The “replacement” option for my steak dish was disappointing in comparison. But we’re tough customers, and you can rest assured that you’ll probably enjoy the offerings, regardless of the price.

Anthony David’s is definitely an upscale eating option (especially for BYOB), and we hope that Chef Anthony Pino listens carefully to his customers – and would make small changes to ensure their repeat business. However, it is his place, and he is free to do as he wishes. Pino was also heard to be opening another restaurant uptown near 15th Street sometime in the future.

Hoboken NJ

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60 Second Review: Ali Baba

Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine

Hoboken 60 Second Review Ali Baba MediterraneanAli Baba (912 Washington) is one of the longest-lasting restaurants here in Hoboken. Serving the community for over 30 years, and run by some of the nicest, friendliest people (and BYOB), it should be in the rotation of every resident and visitor of the Mile Square.

With the rapid business turnover and Hoboken retail locations for sale or for rent – it’s important to keep the local economy thriving (unless you love the strip mall style and soulless chains…)

But how is the food over at Ali Baba?

See photo gallery here, and trademark Hoboken411 60 Second Review below…

How Ali Baba holding up in Hoboken?

Had a quick dinner there the other night – and we’re happy to report that the food has remained consistently good since we moved to Hoboken nearly two decades ago.

  • Grape Leaves – Some of the best in town. ‘Nuff said.
  • Mixed Vegetarian Platter – Super fresh, and some of the tastiest and best-textured falafel in Hoboken. This was a custom arranged dish, which is nice about Ali Baba. They’re extremely flexible with the customers wishes.
  • Lamb Chops – Grilled to perfection, a bit on the rare side (which is how meat really needs to be consumed). This dish was also customized with veggies for the low-carb lifestyle.
  • Coffee & Espresso – With all these newer coffee places opening up like Mod Cup (nice) or Bwe Kafe, the coffee at Ali Baba is outrageous. Imported from the middle east, the coffee packed with flavors and layers you will have a hard time finding elsewhere in town. Worth a visit for this alone!

Overall – we love going to Ali Baba, for the graciousness of the hosts, the BYOB, and the unique tastes not found elsewhere in Hoboken. Highly recommended.

Hoboken NJ

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60 Second Review: Hoboken Dhaba

Hoboken Dhaba Indian Eatery

Hoboken Dhaba Indian 60 Second Review Hoboken411 NJAs we told you previously, Hoboken Dhaba took the place of the old Hummus Bar at 630 Washington Street.

This is OK, particularly because an old-favorite India on the Hudson uptown closed recently.

But how is the food at Hoboken Dhaba? Value?

See photo gallery here, and trademark Hoboken411 60 Second Review below…

How does Hoboken Dhaba Indian fare?

For the purpose of this review – we ordered two dishes that every Indian place should knock out with ease. So let’s recap:

  • Chicken Tikka Masala ($11) – While the taste was not what were were accustomed to comparing it to India on the Hudson, it was still good. Just a bit “different,” a bit sweeter. We felt the amount of chicken was a bit light, and the sauce was a tad watery. But still good enough that we might order again. Very small rice comes with it, not that we care – but other places give twice as much.
  • Chicken Saag ($11) – The “medley of greens” tasted in line with what you’d expect – and the same sentiments as the Tikka – light on the chicken, and a bit “soupy.”

We ordered to go – so service didn’t really factor in, but the girls that helped us were friendly and pleasant enough. Waited maybe 10 minutes during a slow time during the day.

As far as “value,” we believe it’s a bit overpriced for full dinner entrees – but they do have attractive lunch time specials you might want to take advantage of.

Overall, Hoboken Dhaba is “acceptable,” but not out of this world fantastic. “Shrug your shoulders” type reaction. It is BYOB if that floats your boat.

Hoboken NJ

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60 Second Review: Rosticeria Da Gigi

Rosticeria Da Gigi – something for everyone, including meat-lovers!

Rosticeria Da Gigi something for everyone in Hoboken NJSeeing that we’re getting close to lunch time, I wanted to quickly give a shout out to Mark and the crew at Rosticeria Da Gigi (916 Washington St.) Their new Italian “deli / cafe” is exactly what the doctor ordered! The menu is very comprehensive.

I don’t think any customer, no matter what their dietary DNA is – will leave there empty handed. They have veggie stuff, gluten free stuff – and thankfully, loads of juicy, drippy and tasty animal products for the real man, paleo eater, low carber, etc.

You see – perhaps that’s why places like Energy Kitchen have trouble. Because their menu serves a niche. I recall going there once, and asked for the “highest fat” item they had. I think it was dehydrated turkey and cheddar made with skim. Bogus.

That’s why Gigi’s should work. Something for everyone.

Anyway – here’s a typical low carb, moderate protein, high fat meal looks like for us: Awesome Brisket with tons of juicy fat, a nice tomato & mozz salad, and some broccoli rabe with olive oil and garlic. I added some organic sour cream to the mix too. And also highly recommended is their Prime Rib. Holy high heaven.

Enjoy!

Low Carb Heaven at Rosticeria Da Gigi Hoboken NJ

Hoboken NJ

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60 Second Review: Little Town NJ

Little Town NJ – even better since opening in Hoboken

We’ve enjoyed the food, staff and overall presentation at Little Town New Jersey (310 Sinatra Dr.) since they’ve opened – even with the expected “rookie” nicks and bumps that come along the way. These guys are consummate professionals, and it shows. But they’ve improved their already impressive out-of-the-gate menu recently, by bringing on their Executive Chef from NYC Little Town on-board. Jordan Andino is now overseeing the Little Town NJ spot – and his touches have already bumped up the menu offerings across the board. Read more about Jordan below. But let’s quickly cover a few items of note that got “upgraded” in Hoboken411′s trademark 60 second review:

Little Town New Jersey raises the bar in Hoboken NJ

  • We’ll give the punchline away first. There is an secret “unpublished” dessert that you can have. It’s a massive funnel cake with vanilla ice cream and homemade berry preserves. If you’re a low-carb junkie, and had to pick just ONE thing to indulge in that goes way over your sugar limits – this is it. And for once, the taste sensation and pleasure vs. the aftermath was actually worth it. Ask your server for this decadent dessert next time you’re there. Probably enough for FOUR people.
  • Next on the list is the popular Little Town Rice Balls. Chef Andino bumped this staple menu item up by “doubling the cheese and meat,” and improved the rice texture (stickier). Like a Jersey bagel almost. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. The Hollandaise sauce makes this dish an interesting contrast between common and decadent. A treat indeed.
  • The Frankie’s Clams were also upgraded. While I am not a fan of most “shell” based seafood – Chef Andino made the flavors work impeccably. I’m not a big pasta fan either, but if I can say this dish was well-thought out, balanced, and exciting to eat, just imagine what a seafood lover would say?
  • Lastly – we sampled the Belleville Beeps. Simple in concept. Breaded shrimp, “spicy sauce,” and some garlic bread. Try to stay away from the bread, but the sauce was quite “angry,” and had a substantial bite to it. Tangy, but not overly sweet. The coating of the shrimp could have been crispier, but the overall taste of the dish made up for any texture gripes. We found ourselves spooning out sauce after the fact. Nice job.

Little Town NJ gets new Executive Chef Jordan Andino

Jordan Andino is a native of Toronto, Canada. At the age of 10, he moved to Los Angeles, California with his mother while his father, a chef remained in Toronto. Jordan would visit his father regularly; most of their times shared in the kitchens where his father worked.

With his early immersion into the culinary world, Jordan’s passion for cooking flourished! At the tender young age of 10, Jordan began his gastronomic vocation in some of the best restaurants in Toronto, working in every aspect of the kitchen, from dish washing to pastry. His intense culinary drive landed him at recognizable establishments by the age of 16, such as North 44, Rosewater Supper Club, and Flow.

Little Town New Jersey Jordan Andino Executive Chef Hoboken

With countless hours of culinary experience, Jordan tried his hand, being a personal chef for families in his neighborhood of Manhattan Beach, California. His slogan: “Fully catered dinner parties in under 4 hours, including cleanup,” took this seaside community by storm, where he worked as a personal chef until he was 18.

Progressively, Jordan chose to explore his culinary drive and ambitions. He worked in the kitchen at Jean Georges in NYC, and was invited to train at Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant, Spago, in Beverly Hills. He eventually pursued an offer, training at world-renowned The French Laundry in Yountville, CA under the direction of Chef Thomas Keller.

Jordan ultimately relocated to New York, where by the age of 21, had worked in some of the world’s top Michelin star rated establishments. While in New York, he attended and graduated from the nation’s leading hospitality school, Cornell University’s Hotel School of Administration.

Currently, Jordan is executive chef for Little Town & Side Bar, in New York City, with various locations in the Tri-State area. His curatorial efforts and culinary innovation have garnered Jordan attention from such outlets as The Food Network, The New York Post, CBS, FOX and the Wall Street Journal. Always looking to challenge himself professionally and creatively, Jordan is often found consulting on new restaurant and hospitality projects. He also enjoys participating in culinary challenges benefiting various charities in the New York area, as well as pursuing his events catering business.

Hoboken NJ

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