Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pasta Dal Cuore

Shortly after Pasta Dal Cuore opened their pasta counter, they began working on their next project: putting a restaurant in the back of the store. The restaurant, which naturally focuses heavily on the house-made pasta, opened in June, offering classic but modern Italian dishes with specials that draw from local markets and what's in season.

The restaurant is on the smaller side, but comfortable and noise is kept to a minimum. It's equally fitting for date night, a family night, or just dinner with friends. It does get a little crowded on the weekends, so if you want to come with a group, I recommend a reservation. Keep in mind, it's also BYO, and the staff will happily set you up for whatever you bring.
The meal begins with a complimentary bread basket, accompanied by a dish or two of something to dip it in. In our case, we had a delicious eggplant caponata and seasoned olive oil. The bread basket is one of the best I've had in Jersey City, containing three kinds of bread including a special Sardinian flatbread reminiscent of an herbed cracker and a Tuscan foccacia-like bread, rich with slightly salted olive oil you could taste in each bite. Definitely take advantage of the variety and try a little of everything.

For appetizers, we ordered one of the night's specials, the risotto cones, and the crocchette di patate - mozzarella and potato croquettes served with a subtly spicy marinara and the favorite of the two appetizers. Both appetizers were fried to crunchy perfection, but the risotto cones were unfortunately a little on the dry side and in need of some salt.

For entrees, we ordered the chicken milanese, the linguine neri (squid ink linguine with stuffed calamari, shrimp, and pinot grigio), and another of the evening's specials, seared tuna.
The linguine neri was well-cooked and loaded with seafood, but also lacking in some pretty basic seasoning. We asked our server for some salt and red pepper which made a world of difference, so that's something to keep in mind. The chicken was excellent - huge, fried perfectly with a crunchy exterior and juicy interior and delicious with the fresh mixed greens. However, the best of the evening went to the seared tuna.

The tuna was nicely seared and tender but meaty, pairing well with the perfectly cooked and delicious spaghetti,. It was a dish that could have been easily overwhelmed by the different ingredients, but they all worked to complement each other, creating a very flavorful, memorable, and satisfying dish.

All in All
Pasta Dal Cuore, both in space and menu, gives you the feeling of updated tradition and that feeling is carried through your entire experience. The focus is very much on Italian cooking, not Italian-American cooking, making it a bit of a stand-out around this area and more importantly, that focus is producing some very good food. Having the truly excellent pasta made in-house on hand is of huge benefit. The atmosphere is pleasant, the service is exceptionally polite and reasonably attentive although a bit unsure at times, and prices are very reasonable ($20 or under). While there are still a couple of minor rough spots, this is a reliably good choice for Jersey City dining, well worth a visit, and I think it's safe to say we can only expect more from Pasta Dal Cuore as time goes on.

Pasta Dal Cuore
Tues-Thurs: 5-10pm
Fri-Sat: 5pm-11pm
527 Jersey Ave, Jersey City
Reservations accepted/BYOB


  1. Can't wait until they start gluten free pasta like they have promised.

  2. Can't wait until they start gluten free pasta like they have promised.