When it comes to cultural cuisine, authenticity is everything. So it’s always a good sign when a specialty restaurant gets the stamp of approval from the natives. Case in point: Aumm Aumm, the restaurant of choice for actual Italians who want to nom nom on traditional Italian fare. And now that the North Bergen staple has opened a second outpost, this one at The Brownstones at Englewood, landing a table for two became a top priority for us.
We got our wish last week when we scored a dinnertime slot, and we were not disappointed. From the very rustic-style décor (think upscale loft, replete with brick and reclaimed wood walls, industrial finishes, and the warm glow of Edison bulb-powered pendant lights) to the Neapolitan-style menu full of Old World insalate, primi pasta, and secondi piatto favorites, inventive brick-oven pizzas (over 20 red and white varieties!), and a top-notch wine list (over 150 to choose from, including our pick, Pinot Nero), we felt as if we had stepped into a scene straight out of Naples.
And a most delectable one at that! We skipped the antipasti and dove straight into an order of Insalata di Rucola ($16), a.k.a. arugula salad served with cherry tomatoes and ciliegine mozzarella and topped with shaved Grana Padano cheese, E.V.O.O., and red wine vinegar. Also on deck was a plate of Pennoni alla Genovese Napoletana ($16), Aumm Aumm’s legendary housemade pasta (expertly prepared al dente, of course) covered in slow-cooked caramelized onions and diced beef.
Of course, our visit wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t indulge in at least one of Aumm Aumm’s much-buzzed-about Neapolitan-style pizzas. After some debate, we agreed on the classic Margherita ($10/$18), which didn’t disappoint. It might sound simple, but turning dough, tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and Grana Padano into something worth coming back for time after time (and believe us, you WILL come back for it!) show’s just how expertly Aumm Aumm’s has brought a delicious dose of Old World authenticity to our little Englewood.