Romulus Restaurant Opens in Englewood, Bergen County, NJ

Restaurants  / 

Fans of the recently shuttered Kitchen will always remember the day the music died, but we’ve got some rocking good news: restaurateur Stephen Henderson and Chef Wade New are getting the band back together for a new venture—Romulus— that’s sure to keep the culinary hits coming.

Located in the same space as The Kitchen, Romulus opened last week with a new menu and cuisine: a new take on Roman Italian, promising fresh, quality ingredients and sophisticated dishes with big, bold flavors and serving dinner, lunch and brunch.

The space has gotten a subtle facelift, compliments of a gorgeous pressed-copper ceiling and walls covered in vintage wallpaper and white wainscoting, but the relaxed, intimate vibe and perfect lighting—not to mention the attractive wait staff—that helped make it such a success are still intact.

The Kitchen was a Bergen county favorite, so our expectations were high, but as soon as we sat down and were presented with an amazing breadbasket full of goodies from Balthazar bakery, we knew we were in for a memorable meal.

We started with a wonderful, refreshing Rucola Salad ($10) full of baby arugula, radish, pear, toasted pine nuts, and aged provolone accompanied by an order of Calamari ($10), which was stuffed with sausage, fennel, and green olive and braised in a spicy, toasted tomato sauce. An authentic Roman take on the classic app.

Next up was the Fresh Mozzarella ($10), and fresh was the word. The cheese melted in our mouths and the heirloom tomatoes tasted like they were picked from the garden that morning. We also couldn’t resist scarfing down the excellent Carciofo ($10), an herb-rubbed artichoke marinated in garlic and served over shaved fennel. Closing out the starter session was the Panzanella Salad ($10): crunchy ciabatta topped with tomato, fennel, radish, radicchio and red wine vinaigrette.  Simply put, I could eat this every day.

On to the entrees! Pasta is the star at Romulus, and there are 11 hand-made varieties to choose from. We sampled the Pomodoro Fresco ($15), a warm fettuccine tossed with heirloom tomato, basil, oregano, Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano (one of Chef New’s favorites). The Fettuccine Boscaiola ($21), featuring pancetta crimini mushrooms, sweet onion, roasted garlic, oregano, parsley, and Parmigiano was also a smash—the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Again, it is all about fresh, simple ingredients used to create amazing flavor without being weighted down with heavy sauces. 
Rounding out the pasta trio was the Tagliolini Canestrelli ($21): bay scallops, roasted garlic, oregano, and toasted breadcrumbs.  Delicious! Perfectly cooked with a lovely sweetness.

Meat eaters will rejoice over the Osso Buco ($35). Talk about Roman comfort food! Chef New’s braised veal shank served over polenta was one of my absolute favorites. The veal fell off the bone but had a lovely crust on the outside, and the polenta was a perfect creamy accompaniment.

For desert, we polished off a slice of Pear Cake ($8), a classic Roman style cake—light, fluffy, and not too sweet—as well as a piece of Italian Cheesecake ($8), a rollicking combination of Ricotta and vanilla flavors with a touch of lemon. All in all, a perfect ending to dinner, particularly when paired with an expertly made Cappuccino.

Official Website
Serving Dinner, Lunch and Brunch
21 East Palisade Avenue
Englewood, NJ
(201) 408-2639

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