Fare: Modern Italian
Price: Expensive - Very Expensive
Food Quality: An inspirational modern Italian menu creatively prepared using healthy, high quality, organic, and sustainably raised ingredients from local sources, supplemented by importing dry ingredients from Italy.
Service: Knowledgeable, friendly well trained, attentive staff without being intrusive or pretentious.
Decor/Ambiance: Beautifully renovated. Cozy, elegant, rustic Italian farmhouse decor.
Overall Rating: 3.5 Stars
Note: Four star Rating System from 1/2 Star = Poor to 4 stars = Best in Class
Noise Level: Low - Excellent for conversation.
Dress: Upscale Casual
Recommended For: Diners who enjoy upscale dining in a beautiful setting with an artfully presented, creative menu of regional Italian dishes and American favorites, prepared with high quality, mostly organic, sustainable ingredients.
Not Recommended For: Cost conscious diners who enjoy a traditional "Old World" Italian red sauce menu served in huge portions.
Recommended dishes: When available, for shared plate enthusiasts, the Charred Clams w/Sicilian oregano, and cherry peppers; The Whole Grilled Bronzino, wild-caught from Portugal, deboned served with head and tail; and the 45-day dry-aged Porterhouse.
Liquor: Full Bar service.
il Nido is regarded as one of the best Italian restaurants in Central Jersey. This is a destination restaurant that is not for just a night out for dinner --- Il Nido is an excellent upscale, Chef-Inspired Casual dining experience.
Unlike many old-school traditional, red sauce Italian restaurants in Central Jersey, il Nido (translated as "The Nest") sets itself apart by serving an inspirational modern Italian menu with authentic regional specialties.
Il Nido originated as a vision by owner Joe Folgore, a successful local business entrepreneur who emigrated from Sicily.
His vision became a reality when he secured the location of two former Italian restaurants, Brioso and L'Antica Trattoria, along with an adjacent storefront location, and proceeded to create a restaurant unlike many any of the other low to mid-range traditional, Old World, red sauce Italian restaurants that dot the Central New Jersey landscape.
Joe Folgore passed away in early 2022. The restaurant is now owned and managed by his wife Sandy Folgore, and their children. The is kitchen run by Executive Chef Jordan Petriello.
Chef Petriello honed his culinary skills at the age of 18 when he began as a dishwasher at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster and after five years, worked his way up to sous chef.
He later worked in the Kitchen as a line cook advancing to sous chef at the highly regarded Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen in Morristown. NJ. Before joining il Nido, he worked in the kitchens of two high-end restaurants in NYC, at Benno, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and Rezdora.
He joined Il Nido in January 2022 as a line cook and continued to hone his culinary skills under acclaimed Chef Joe Voller, advancing to become sous chef. In August 2022, Chef Petriello was promoted to Executive Chef.
Chef Petriello has continued the il Nido tradition of serving a well-executed, inspirational, seasonally changing menu with a commitment to using locally sourced, sustainably, and organically produced ingredients. Exceptions to local sourcing are made to preserve the authenticity of the dishes. Many of the dry ingredients are imported from Italy, including the flour imported from Sicily used in the homemade pasta dishes.
The seafood is sourced from Local 130 Seafood in Asbury Park specializing in locally caught, sustainable seafood. No farm-raised seafood here. The meat products are sourced from Four Story Hill Farm in Pennsylvania which raises all-natural, apple-fed pigs, pastured chickens, and veal. No antibiotics, hormones, or unnatural supplements of any kind are used on the animals. The produce is sourced from Cherry Valley Cooperative in Montgomery, NJ, a collaboration of farmers, chefs, innovators, students, artists, and wellness professionals specializing in growing high-diversity vegetables, berries, fruit, flowers, mushrooms, herbs, and pasture-raised eggs, lamb, and pork.
The menu also offers several popular, high-quality American favorites including a variety of grass-fed aged Wagyu beef and meats with no antibiotics, hormones, or unnatural supplements, and wild-caught seafood.
This is a place to come for excellent, unique Coastal Italian homemade pasta dishes, not easily found in other Italian Restaurants. This is not your traditional red-sauce Italian restaurant. You will not find Chicken Parmigiana on the menu. Instead, you will find inspiring, mouthwatering dishes such as Gramigna w/Veal Bolognese & Grand Padano.
Chef Petriello continues to innovate introducing new, creative additions to the menu with the addition of their Shares Menu. A must-try is their Charred Clams w/ Sicilian oregano and cherry peppers.
The ambiance at Il Nido is cozy, rustic Italian farmhouse, yet elegant. The 115-seat restaurant includes four dining areas; Two main dining rooms, one of which has an attractive stone fireplace, a smaller, quieter Cave room, and the chef's table dining area with two booths overlooking the open kitchen.
The interior is beautifully done up with red brick walls adorned with attractive paintings of Portofino and other Italian Riviera coastal towns, open exposed ceilings painted in black, wooden tables set with attractive, softly lit table lamps, surrounded by comfortable soft cushioned chairs. The Tables are spaced comfortably apart for quiet conversation.
il Nido is not recommended for children.
il Nido is open for dinner 5 days a week: They are closed on Monday & Tuesday.
Reservations are highly recommended.
(updated; February 2024)
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