Nunzio Ristorante Rustico
A Collingswood, NJ Restaurant Review
Nunzio Ristorante Rustico
706 Haddon Avenue
Price: Moderate - Expensive
Noise Level: Moderate - High
One of the top Italian restaurants in Collingswood
Decor is attractive, Italian rustic
The acoustics are poor, and on busy weekend nights and depending on patrons seated near you, you are apt to have to shout above the roar of the crowd to be heard.
Recommended For: Diners who enjoy excellent Italian food in an attractive setting
Not Recommended For: Diners who prefer more traditional Italian dishes served in larger portions covered with heavy sauces
Recommended dishes: When available, The Fish of the Day, Branzino or Dover Sole; The Capellini e Granchio con Zucchini Angel hair sauteed with sun dried tomatoes, crab meat, fried zucchini, garlic & oil: and The the Calzone di Vitello Veal medallions stuffed with spinach, prosciutto, garlic and sharp provolone in a white wine reduction; and the Osso Bucco.
Nunzio Ristorante is a very popular BYOB dining establishment serving up well prepared Italian dishes with fresh ingredients.
Owner/ Executive Chef Nunzio Patruno has impressive culinary credentials and was formerly the chef at the upscale Monte Carlo Living Room in Philadelphia before leaving to open Nunzio Ristorante Rustico in downtown Collingswood. He has formal training as a culinary chef and in his early years honed his skills in the Italian Riviera, and later spent seven years in Monaco on the French Riviera.
The ambiance at Nunzio Ristorante is lively, rustic and casual. As you enter and pass through the large foyer, you will encounter a faux piazza with stucco walls in a pale adobe color that suggest doorways and windows surrounding the main square, distressed brick, and high blue-sky ceiling with white puffy clouds and seaside murals with small houses that are native to Apulia, Patruno’s birthplace.
The restaurant accommodates 120 patrons and is spread over four dining rooms divided by half-walls.
This is not a place to come to for a cozy dinner and quiet conversation. It's biggest downside is the poor acoustics and closely spaced, crowded tables, that create a very high and sometimes deafening "noise level". Though not at all quiet, the least deafening seats in the restaurant are in the alcove immediately to the left of the foyer.
Nunzio Ristorante is also a great place for South Jersey people watching who come dressed in a variety of outfits, from discount store duds to designer finery.
Your dining experience begins with your server presenting you with an offering of freshly baked Italian foccaccia bread accompanied by pungent pesto dipping sauce.
The desserts are mostly traditional. Try the very tasty Vanilla Panna Cotta with egg less vanilla custard served with caramelized orange and berries; or the Bombato Cioccolatino Hot chocolate souffle cake served with vanilla gelato.
Parking in downtown Collingswood is metered and sometimes difficult to find a spot, use of the public lots is recommended.
(updated: October, 2015)
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Ideal for celebrating a special occasion like a birthday, Mothers Day, Easter, graduation, or even on a family vacation